Hugo Weaving, the actor best known for his role as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy and as Elmond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is in discussions to play a poppy-trading South African in Anand Gandhi’s second feature film, Birds in Eclipse.
Trade publications, including Screen International, write that the 44-year Australian will lead the international cast that includes Soham Shah from Gandhi’s acclaimed Ship of Theseus.
Gandhi’s new film has been selected for Ontario Media Development Corporation’s international financing forum.
The film is expected to roll early next year and could be one of the high profile entries at next year’s TIFF. It may could cost $10 million.
Bird in Eclipse is one of the few high profile projects announced at TIFF, which draws major distributors from North America and Europe.
The film spans 30 years after World War II, according to Screen International, and follows the fortunes and anguish of the illegitimate son of a feudal lord who is obsessed about finding treasure hidden under a dilapidated mansion.
Gandhi, 34, is a Mumbai-based writer and self-taught filmmaker.
His first feature length film Ship of Theseus was shown at many film festivals, including the TIFF in 2008. But it was not seen by many paying audiences.
His new project could attract big time distributors.
The recent success of films such as Hundred-Foot Journey, which is headed for a solid $100 million worldwide gross, has proved that there is a good crossover audience for films with Indian themes.