EXCLUSIVE: Before they return to dystopian Panem this fall in Lionsgate’s Mockingjay, sources say Hunger Games co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson will head West to shoot revenge action thriller By Way Of Helena. Aussie filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here) is directing from the script by Matt Cook that made the 2009 Black List. Hemsworth will star as David, an 1880s Texas Ranger sent to an isolated frontier town to investigate a series of mysterious murders. There he squares off against Harrelson as a local preacher named Abraham who holds the townsfolk in a fearful grip.
Pic should be a treat for Hunger Games fans since Hemsworth and Harrelson’s characters haven’t yet shared the screen in the Lionsgate franchise. Filming on Helena is set to begin in September before Hemsworth and Harrelson hit the promo trail for Mockingjay, which opens November 21.
WME client Hemsworth has been working smaller indies in between Hunger Games installments and The Expendables 2 and last year appeared in Love and Honor, Empire State, and Paranoia. Harrelson is hot off HBO’s True Detective and will co-star in crime thriller Triple Nine for director John Hillcoat, also scripted by Matt Cook. He’s also set to return for the sequel to Lionsgate’s caper pic Now You See Me. He’s repped by CAA.
Animal Kingdom actor-turned-director Darcy-Smith made his feature helming debut with Aussie indie Wish You Were Here starring his Blue-Tongue Films partner Joel Edgerton. Russian director Sergei Bodrov was also previously attached to the script. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing for their Mandeville Films banner. Nathalie Marciano is executive producer.