EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominee Tim Roth (Rob Roy) is attached to star in New Zealand drama Punch, which European sales firm The Yellow Affair is introducing to world buyers during the Toronto virtual market.
Pulp Fiction and The Hateful Eight actor Roth, who is currently starring in Sky and Amazon series Tin Star, will play Stan, the demanding coach and notorious alcoholic father of Jim, a seventeen year-old boxer in a small town. Golden boy Jim is preparing for his first professional fight but begins to rethink his life’s trajectory and his sexuality after tangling with Whetu, a razor-tongued, gay Maori boy who spends his days in an old shack down by the beach.
The roles of Jim and Whetu are being cast at the moment ahead of a scheduled November 9 start date.
The film marks the feature debut of writer-director Welby Ings whose previous shorts have played at dozens of festivals. It is being produced by Robin Murphy for Robin Murphy Productions with executive producer Catherine Fitzgerald of Blueskin Films.
Financiers include NZ Film Commission, NZ Screen Production Grant, Prospect Films and Images and Sound. Vendetta Films will distribute in NZ and Australia. Release is slated for Q4, 2021.
Producer Robin Murphy said: “Working with Welby to bring to life the story of Jim has been an absolute pleasure, and I have no doubt he’ll bring the same artistry and passion for the stories of his community he expressed in his short films to Punch, where he not only takes us on the unique journey of one young man, but speaks to the universal experience of discovering your own true self.”
Writer-director Welby Ings added: “After developing a story that is close to my heart for what seems like an age, we are all thrilled to be heading into production, and I am so excited to collaborate with the extraordinarily talented Tim Roth.”
Roth is repped by CAA, Markham, Froggatt & Irwin, and Jackoway Tyerman.