Zac Efron (The Greatest Showman) has boarded survival thriller Gold, which Altitude Film Sales will introduce to buyers at the upcoming AFM virtual market and will co-rep domestic sales on with CAA Media Finance.
Actor Anthony Hayes (Animal Kingdom) will direct and co-star, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Polly Smyth. John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz will produce through their Deeper Water Films banner (Danger Close: The Battle Of Long Tan), alongside Hayes for Rogue Star Pictures.
The film will follow two strangers traveling through a desert who stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found. They hatch a plan to protect and excavate their bounty with one man leaving to secure the necessary equipment. The other man remains and must endure harsh desert elements, ravenous wild dogs and mysterious intruders, whilst battling the sinking suspicion that he has been abandoned to his own fate.
Shoot is due to get underway in Australia this month.
HOD’s include editor Sean Lahiff (Wolf Creek 2) production designer Sam Hobbs (Red Dog), DoP Ross Giardina (The Dressmaker) and make up and prosthetics by Jennifer Lamphee (The Wolverine).
Madman Entertainment will release in Australia and the film will then screen on Oz streamer Stan, which is backing the film. Executive producers are Andrew Mann, Peter Touche, Simon Williams, Paul Wiegard, Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Nick Forward and Mike Runagall.
Michael Schwarz of Deeper Water Films said: “Gold is a classic morality tale told in an excitingly modern fashion, and the creative symmetry between Anthony and Zac has everyone involved incredibly excited to bring this film to global audiences.”
Director Anthony Hayes added: “This is an exciting, gripping and timely tale about greed, humanity, who we are, what we’ve done to the world and where we are heading if we aren’t careful. To have Zac Efron as my main man on this film is an absolute gift and to see what he is creating already is like nothing we’ve seen from him before. I can’t wait to deliver this bold, visceral and cinematic film to audiences all around the world.”
Efron is represented by CAA, Alchemy Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.