Charles Dance and Timothy Spall will join Aussie Terminator Sam Worthington in the drama-thriller, “The Riders” for director Robert Connolly.
Based on the award-winning novel by Tim Winton, “The Riders” will shoot on location on the Dalmatian Coast and in Paris.
Michael Hirst, Francesca Brill and Brooks-Smith adapted the screenplay, which centers on “Australian expatriate Scully (Worthington) who prepares to start a new life with his wife Jennifer and young daughter Bille in Ireland. His life is blown apart when he goes to the airport to meet his family, but finds only Billie and no message from his missing wife. With Billie in tow, he travels to Korcula and Paris in search of Jennifer: beginning a journey of self discovery that will alter the course of his life in ways he could never have envisaged.”
The Australian/UK co-production, to be delivered January 2014, will be distributed internationally by Stealth Media Group.
Another of Tim Winton’s books, “Breath” is also in development. Simon Baker (“The Mentalist”) is attached to star in and produce the adaptation, about a couple of teens in Western Australia who befriend a surfer (Baker).
Winton couldn’t ask for a better in-front and behind-the camera team for “Riders” – Connolly’s directed some of Australia’s best film and TV, with credits like “The Slap” and “The Bank” to his name, while Worthington will be coming off the highly-anticipated “Thunder Run” with Gerard Butler, when he begins work on the film. Spall’s large array of credits include the “Harry Potter” films and “Sweeney Todd”, with the versatile Charles Dance known for his roles in such films as “Alien 3”, “Gosford Park”, “Ali G in Da House” and “Michael Collins”.
Here’s the book sleeve synopsis of “The Riders” :
After traveling through Europe for two years, Scully and his wife Jennifer wind up in Ireland, and on a mystical whim of Jennifer’s, buy an old farmhouse which stands in the shadow of a castle. While Scully spends weeks alone renovating the old house, Jennifer returns to Australia to liquidate their assets. When Scully arrives at Shannon Airport to pick up Jennifer and their seven-year-old daughter, Billie, it is Billie who emerges — alone. There is no note, no explanation, not so much as a word from Jennifer, and the shock has left Billie speechless. In that instant, Scully’s life falls to pieces.
The Riders is a superbly written and a darkly haunting story of a lovesick man in a vain search for a vanished woman. It is a powerfully accurate account of marriage today, of the demons that trouble relationships, of resurrection found in the will to keep going, in the refusal to hold on, to stand still. The Riders is also a moving story about the relationship between a loving man and his tough, bright daughter.