In a case of shifting parts, Guy Pearce has joined Fred Schepisi’s romantic thriller Andorra in the lead role of Alexander Fox, a bookseller who leaves the U.S. after a personal tragedy to begin a new life abroad. During run-up to production, Clive Owen had been set in the role, but is now taking the supporting part of Mr Dent who shares a volatile secret with his wife, played by Toni Collette.
I’m told the casting switch is due to scheduling. Owen’s commitments no longer allow him to spend three months on the film, and he suggested stepping into a supporting role. Oz-based Jump Street Films is producing and has confirmed production investment from Screen Australia with shooting to begin in Italy next April.
Based on Peter Cameron’s eponymous novel, Andorra is set against a decadent dreamscape where nothing is as it appears. When Fox arrives in search of the chance to reinvent himself, he quickly becomes entangled with the ancient Mrs Reinhardt (Redgrave) as well as the Australian Dents and Mrs Quay (Lumley), the kayaking matriarch of an Andorran dynasty who seems to recall Fox from long ago. As he finds comfort in the company of Miss Quay (Anderson), the mystery of his origin deepens.
When a woman’s body is found, the local lieutenant, Afgroni (Scamarcio) becomes strangely convinced that Fox is responsible. With an emissary from his past (Farren) threatening his newfound paradise, Fox finds himself in a crisis of conscience and identity.
The screenplay is adapted by Cameron and Jump Street’s Jamie Bialkower. Bialkower is producing for Jump Street alongside Schepisi, Lizzette Atkins and executive producers James Ivory, Natalie Miller and Hengameh Panahi whose Celluloid Dreams is handling international sales.
Pearce is next up in ABC miniseries When We Rise and is also in Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. He’s repped by CAA, Shanahan Management and Independent. Redgrave is next in Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool. She’s repped by CAA and Gavin Barker Associates. Farren will be seen in Showtime’s Twin Peaks reboot. He’s with United Management.