Cate Blanchett is set to star in and produce a film called “The New Boy” that will be set in 1940s Australia and follow the journey of a 9-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy.
Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton (“Sweet Country”) will write and direct the drama, and filming is set to begin in October of this year in South Australia.
Blanchett will star in “The New Boy” as a renegade nun running a remote monastery who takes in the child after he arrives in the dead of the night. However, the new boy’s presence disturbs the delicately balanced world in this story of spiritual struggle and the cost of survival.
Deborah Mailman and Wayne Blair also star in the film.
Blanchett is producing through her Dirty Films banner alongside Andrew Upton and Georgie Pym, and Kath Shelper will also produce for Scarlett Pictures. The film was developed by Scarlett Pictures, with the assistance of Screen Australia’s First Nations Department, and is scheduled to wrap production at the end of 2022.
Roadshow Films will be distributing for Australia and New Zealand, CAA Media Finance and UTA will be handling sales for North America, and The Veterans is on board to manage sales for the remainder of the globe.
“What a joy to finally be collaborating with Warwick — a filmmaker whose warmth, wit and humanity we have admired for so very long. We can’t wait to be on the ground with him and the wonderful Kath Shelper to realize this startling story,” Blanchett said in a statement.
“The idea for the story of this little boy has been flickering in my imagination for a long time. Kath and I are beyond excited to be working with Cate and the Dirty Films mob to put him up on the big screen where he belongs,” Thornton added on behalf of himself and Shelper for Scarlett Pictures.
Thornton’s “Sweet Country” won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and a prize at TIFF in 2017, and his film “Samson and Delilah” won the Caméra d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, with both films winning the Best Film prize at Australia’s Oscars (AACTA).
Blanchett most recently starred in “Nightmare Alley” and in “Don’t Look Up,” both of which were nominated for Best Picture. And she’ll soon be seen in the “Borderlands” video game movie adaptation and in Pedro Almodovar’s English-language feature debut “A Manual for Cleaning Women.”
Blanchett and Dirty Films are represented at CAA and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations. Thornton is represented by United Talent Agency and attorney Darren Trattner. Mailman is represented at Sue Barnett and Associates. Blair is represented at Independent Talent Group, United Talent Agency and Shanahan Management.