Producer Michael Robertson dines out on killer sharks and crocodiles

08 May, 2018 by Don Groves

Michael Robertson.

The UK-based Altitude Film Sales pre-sold a bunch of territories for producer Michael Robertson’s thriller Black Water: Abyss in Berlin and now aims to do the same for Robertson’s Great White at the Cannes Film Market.


Neither film has been cast but according to Robertson the appetite for genre films is so strong among international buyers there is no need to sign actors at this stage.

TVCs director Martin Wilson will make his feature directing debut on Great White, which will follow five passengers who are stranded on a seaplane far from shore and try to make it to land before they either run out of supplies or are devoured by sharks.

Michael Boughen, the co-writer of Dying Breed and producer of Killer Elite and the TV series Tomorrow, When the War Began, wrote the screenplay and sent it to Robertson late last year.

Robertson will produce with Neal Kingston, with whom he is collaborating on Black Water: Abyss, and Chris Veerhuis, a co-producer on Simon Baker’s Breath.

Robertson knew Wilson in his previous life in the TVC business and is keen to work with the first-time director, telling IF: “He will bring a lot of excitement to the film.”

Altitude’s Mike Runagall said: “Great White is a gripping concept thriller from a team with proven track record in high-end suspense filmmaking that pitches a full-on battle with nature and the most terrifying predator known to man. ”

Shooting is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019 with an Australian cast, which may include a US-based female lead.

Andrew Traucki is set to direct Black Water: Abyss, the sequel to the 2007 survival horror/thriller Back Water, which he co-directed with David Nerlich.

Scripted by Sarah Smith and Ian John Ridley, the sequel follows Eric and Jennifer, a young adventure-loving couple who convince their friends Yolanda and Viktor to explore a remote, uncharted cave system in the forests of Northern Australia.

As a storm approaches they abseil into the mouth of the cave which starts to flood and they find themselves threatened by a pack of crocodiles. Long-kept secrets emerge and the friends turn on each other in a fight for survival.

Filming is due to start in Queensland in the last quarter of this year, supported by Screen Queensland. Universal Pictures will distribute in Australia.

Robert Slaviero is the executive producer on both projects.