Pitched as an elevated genre film in the vein of “28 Days Later” and “It Comes at Night,” the picture explores the ‘what if’ question of a cross-species contagion, in this case from a Tasmanian Devil, the last of the marsupial carnivores.
Stasey is fresh from Paramount’s $200 million-grossing hit “Smile” and is also known for her genre work on “I, Frankenstein” and “Tomorrow When the War Began.” Pucci won the Sundance Jury Prize and the Berlin Silver Bear for “Thumbsucker” and was star of the Sam Raimi-produced “Evile Dead” in 2013.
In the film, Stasey plays the role of Eva, a young virologist, who helps the local park ranger (Kwanten) research the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease – a contagious cancer that has wiped out nearly 90% of the species population. But when her husband, Alex (Pucci), is bitten by a sickly stray dog, Eva suspects the virus has mutated across species and is causing violent outbursts in the hosts. Infection soon spreads through the locals and Eva must choose between saving the man she loves or the rest of humanity.
The picture is currently in pre-production with delivery slated for the fourth quarter of 2023.
Auf der Heide (“The Turning”) will direct based on a script that he co-wrote with Tom Holloway. The picture will be produced by David Ngo and Erin Williams-Weir of Projector Films (“One Eyed Girl,” “Rabbit”).
Odin’s Eye Entertainment is handling worldwide sales for the picture. OEE’s Michael Favelle serves as an executive producer alongside Katie Found, Bryce Menzies and Clement Dunn.
“Fiercely intelligent and passionate, Caitlin is exactly who I want leading the charge against an apocalyptic rage virus” said Auf der Heide. “Lou is the ultimate chameleon who brings a great depth of sensitivity to the film. Caitlin, Lou and alongside the magnetic Ryan Kwanten, I have my dream cast.”