Australian director Kim Mordaunt crashed the international party back in 2013 with his exemplary (and multiple award winning) Laos-set drama, The Rocket, and now the director is set to partially return to his documentary background for this next feature, entitled Wildlands. Prior to the success of The Rocket, Mordaunt’s signature work was the fascinating 2007 documentary Bomb Harvest, which tracked the extraordinary exploits of Laith Stevens, an experienced Aussie bomb disposal expert training a new team to deal with the mass of undetonated bombs left from the US “secret war” in Laos. That powerful film informed The Rocket, and it looks to have an even bigger influence on Wildlands.
With a fine pedigree in screenwriter John Collee (Hotel Mumbai, Happy Feet, Master And Commander), composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain), and producers Sylvia Wilczynski (The Rocket, Bomb Harvest), Tom Hardy (yes, that Tom Hardy) and Dean Baker (Taboo), Wildlands will star powerhouse Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (The Danish Girl, Bullhead, A Bigger Splash) as Richard Thomas, a jaded bomb disposal specialist with a penchant for recklessness, who gets a final shot at redemption when he’s sent to Angola, Africa, one of the most heavily mined lands in the world. With a potentially damaging monsoon set to roll in, Thomas must race against the clock (and the climate) to make a remote village safe for its residents, but hits pause when he is gifted an unexpected new team: ten tough-minded Angolan women and their bomb-sniffing African Pouched Rats. Led by the fiery Paula, they send Thomas on a mission defined as much by soul searching as bomb disposal.
Great cast, great behind-the-scenes talent, and thrilling, dramatic and topical subject matter…we’re tipping Wildlands to be a winner.