Cast set for Outback thriller

19 May, 2015 by Don Groves

Rectify's Aden Young, Aaron Pedersen, Oscar Redding and Chris Sommers are part of the ensemble cast attached to a violent Outback thriller to be directed by Jonathan auf der Heide.

An unofficial Australian-UK co-production, Mongrel is due to start shooting in South East Queensland late this year, with post in the UK.


Scripted by Brit Ross Williams, the plot follows Doug Richards (Young), a family man who embarks on a pig-hunting weekend with his mates.

The weekend turns into a nightmare as the hunting dogs savagely attack a young couple from the city. Torn between loyalty and doing the right thing, Richards must choose between an escalation in violence or facing his own death.

Pedersen is cast as a detective, Redding is a bad-ass professional pig hunter and Sommers is a local would-be tough guy.

The producers are New Holland Pictures Two's Mark Overett (The Fear of Darkness, Iron Sky) and Feature One Film's Edward Tull and Williams.

“The UK producers pitched it to me a couple of years ago in Cannes," Overett tells IF from Cannes, where the project is being pitched to potential buyers by UK-based sales agency Moviehouse Entertainment.

Auf der Heide’s debut feature Van Diemen's Land premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2009 and screened at numerous festivals around the world. He also directed Fog, a segment of Tim Winton’s The Turning.

Moviehouse MD and head of acquisitions Mark Vennis said, “Firstly, I loved the script, an investigation into an honest man having his own moral compass smashed. And secondly, I have been a big fan of Jonathan's work for quite some time and we have been tracking his progress.”

Tull said, “The project has been in development for several years but I think once we secured the talents of Jonathan the momentum just accelerated and seemed to have a life of its own."

More cast will be announced soon. Sommers stars in Chris Fitchett’s The Fear of Darkness and his other credits include The Water Diviner and the upcoming Queensland-shot Zombie Western Bullets for the Dead, the feature directing debut of Michael Du-Shane from a script he co-wrote with Joshua C Birch.

Overett says he hopes to soon confirm the Australian distributor.