Liam Hemsworth, Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki will join Kate Winslet and Judy Davis in The Dressmaker, Jocelyn Moorhouse’s 1950s-set comic drama that’s due to shoot in Victoria in October.
The casting was announced at the Cannes Film Market where the UK’s Embankment Films is pitching the project to international buyers and co-representing the US rights with CAA.
Adapted by Moorhouse from Rosalie Ham’s novel, it’s described as a Gothic tale of love, revenge and haute couture.
Winslet will play Tilly, a glamorous young woman who returns after many years in Europe to her small home town in rural Australia aiming to right some wrongs from the past as she was accused of murder when she was a child.
She also falls unexpectedly in love, which leads to her greatest loss and her most destructive deed. Davis will play her eccentric mother.
Hemsworth, who stars in The Hunger Games franchise, is cast as Teddy McSwiney, the local football hero. Debicki is Una, a rival dressmaker, and Fisher is Gertrude Pratt, a woman who is transformed by Tilly's genius. Fisher and Debicki appeared in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.
Sue Maslin produces through her banner Film Art Media, with funding from Screen Australia, Fulcrum Media Finance, White Hot Productions, Film Victoria and Soundfirm.
The heads of department include costume designer Tim Chappel, director of photography Don McAlpine, production designer Roger Ford and editor Jill Bilcock.
Production was delayed while Winslet awaited the birth of her son, whom she named Bear Blaze.
"Kate is perfect for Tilly, " said Moorhouse. "She’s beautiful, intelligent, and deeply mysterious on screen. Judy Davis is amongst the great contemporary actresses and she will bring powerful wit and charm to the role of Molly. Liam Hemsworth is a laid back, genuine charmer who’s also tall, dark and movie-star handsome."
Universal Pictures will release the film in Australia, dated for October 1 2015. Filming will take place in Melbourne, Mount Rothwell and the Wimmera region.