Simon Baker to direct new Tim Winton adaptation

13 May, 2015 by Emily Blatchford

Simon Baker. 

Simon Baker will return to Australia to make his feature directorial debut; an adaptation of Tim Winton’s best-selling book Breath.


The announcement was made from the Cannes Film Festival; at which the film will make its world market premiere.

Baker, well known for his roles in The Mentalist and The Devil Wears Prada, will also star in the film.

The screen version of the beloved Australian novel will be set in Australia in the 1970s and follow two teens, Pikelet and Loonie, who form an unlikely bond with a reclusive surfer and his mysterious wife.

In a statement released to the media, Baker said, “When I first read Breath, I knew I had to somehow make the film. The gathering storm of the story, detailed and intimate against the power and scope of the rugged setting, struck me as incredibly cinematic. I’m beyond excited to be back in Australia realising this dream.”

The project is being produced by Academy and Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, The Notebook) alongside Baker and Australian producer Jamie Hilton (Backtrack, The Little Death).

Top of the Lake writer, Gerard Lee, will adapt the script for screen. Arclight Films will run international sales,while Palace Films will release in Australia.

The project has also been announced as one of the 12 new feature film and television projects to receive Screen Australia funding.