Hugo Weaving (Photo credit: Denis Makarenko, Shutterstock.com).
Damian Hill and Paul Ireland, the creative team behind 2015 indie Pawno, have reunited for M4M, a modern take on the Shakespeare play ‘Measure for Measure’ that will be set within Melbourne’s commission flats.
Hugo Weaving will star in the film, about an unlikely love story between modern Muslim woman Jaiwara and local loner musician Claudio. Looming large is local crime figure Duke (Weaving) and his rival Farouk, Jaiwara’s gangster brother.
Hill and Ireland co-wrote the script and will produce together, with Ireland also directing. Ian Kirk, Bryce Menzies, Tony Nagle, Clement Dunn and Mark Forytarz (who was an associate producer on Pawno) are executive producers.
Ireland said: “The script for me is always the most important part of the process, the foundation of everything. Damian and I have spent the last two years pouring a lot of love, laughter, frustration, care and emotion into the writing of M4M, resulting in what I feel is a very relevant emotive story and world that deserves to be shared and shown. A world that is often ignored as people are happy to sit in ignorance and let the sun shine or the rain fall, thinking it doesn’t affect them.”
“I am at the moment working with Mcleod Casting putting together a very interesting and diverse cast to bring this story to life and am so thrilled that one of the world’s greatest actors, Hugo Weaving, has decided to play a key role.”
The film has secured principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund, and Film Victoria has also provided development and production support.
“Damian Hill and Paul Ireland proved themselves as film makers with their low budget feature Pawno, and M4M is their chance to tell a story on a bigger budget. The script for M4M is exceptional and the result of much hard work and skill over a long period. This is a contemporary Australian reimagining of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure that is authentic, exciting and inclusive,” said Screen Australia head of production Sally Caplan.
“To be able to attract Hugo Weaving, one of this country’s greatest actors to the film is an absolute coup and we have high hopes for what Hill and Ireland will deliver.”
Casting for M4M is currently underway, with filming to start in Melbourne in September.
Bankside Films are attached for international sales.