The Film Factory has signed a deal with Ster Kinekor Distribution that will see three of its films distributed locally over the next two years. The films are Bakgat 2, Night Drive and Superhelde. The Film Factory released the name of the lead in Night Drive on Friday 21 August.
The lead is popular television actor Chirs Beasley who will play the role of Sean Darwin, ex-cop turned poacher hunter in this local action thriller/horror movie which begins shooting on 29 August. (Read full story of The Film Factory’s three-slate deal in Screen Africa’s September issue.)
Beasley needs no introduction to South African audiences, having played the role of controversial TV anchorman Len Cooper on the popular local television drama series, Isidingo since 2001 to great acclaim, also notching up various accolades along the way including nominations for Best Actor Award in 2005 and 2007’s Crystal Awards and a SAFTA nomination in 2007.
Justin Head, director of Night Drive says they undertook a nationwide search to find the right lead. : “We just hadn’t found the right ‘connection’ with an actor to play this vital role until we were made aware of Chris Beasley. We saw him and instinctively knew that he would bring a depth and empathy to Sean that no-one else could.” An additional bonus was that Beasley lived on a game farm during his formative years and later worked on a game breeding farm.
“How ideal is that, not only can he act superbly, but he has practically LIVED this role. We cast him immediately and can’t wait to see the first rushes.”
Beasley says: “I feel as if this role was written for me. I was given the script and just couldn’t put it down – what grabbed my interest immediately was the fact that this is certainly not your typical horror where it’s all blood, guts and gore, this for me is actually an intelligent thriller with a storyline of real depth.”
Details of the actors playing main roles are:
Chris Beasley (Isidingo, 27 Honey Street, Song at Twilight) is Sean Darwin :
Sean Darwin used to be a maverick undercover cop until his obsession with busting a smuggler ended in tragedy. Despite an ongoing battle with his inner demons, Sean will stop at nothing to find redemption, even if it means throwing himself in harm’s way.
Greg Melvill-Smith (District 9, Mr Bones, 7de Laan) is Jack Darwin :
Sean’s estranged father, Jack Darwin, is an ex-special forces soldier turned game ranger, hell-bent on fighting the war on poaching – no matter who gets caught in the crossfire.
Yule Masiteng (Mzansi, Scandal, Jozi H) is Akani :
The soft spoken and timid Akani has been Jack’s loyal tracker for the last ten years. His knowledge of the bush and an uncanny ability to read spoor are hampered only by his deeply entrenched superstitious beliefs.
Corine Du Toit (Egoli, Getroud Met Rugby) is Karen :
A vicious attack during a house break-in left Karen deeply scarred and feeling suicidal, but her fragile demeanour belies a ferocity that’s suddenly unleashed when she decides to never be a victim again.
Brandon Auret (District 9, Isidingo, Hansie – The Movie) is Ian :
Karen’s husband, Ian, has a quick temper and an itchy trigger finger, fuelled by an all-consuming cocaine addiction. Yet, for all his shortcomings, he desperately wants to rekindle his broken marriage.
American actor now SA resident Antonio David Lyons (Hotel Rwanda, 24, American History X, Sum of all Fears and locally Home Affairs, Scandal, Generations) plays the role of Denzel, a smooth-talking American businessman, who after meeting a girl online, has embarked on a whirlwind love affair with Africa. However, he harbours a secret that could destroy this new found relationship.
Other well known names featured in the movie include; David Sherwood, Clare Marshall, Leroy Gopal, Jennifer Steyn, Matshepo Maleme, Richard Lukundu, Kenneth Fok, Susana Kennedy, Llewellyn Cordier and Tema Sebopedi.
Night Drive heads to the big screen in 2010.
* Night Drive is made possible by the generous support of their sponsors: Pro Action (Motor Bike and Sean’s action gear), Guess (Clothing), Face to Face Beauty & Make-up Design School (Make-up).
Night Drive produced by : The Film Factory
Producers : C.A. van Aswegen, James Carroll
Co-producer : Susana Kennedy
Writer/Director : Justin Head
Release date : 2010
Age Restriction : 16 VL