Hugo Weaving, Phoenix Raei Star in ‘The Rooster’ Mystery Film From Australia’s Mark Leonard Winter

Hugo Weaving
Sarah Enticknap

Rising star Phoenix Raei joins Hugo Weaving as the lead of “The Rooster,” an Australian mystery drama film in which a small-town cop discovers the dead body of his best friend.

The film, which has just completed principal photography in Victoria state, is directed by actor Mark Leonard Winter (“Escape From Pretoria”), making his debut as a feature director.

As performers, Weaving and Winter have previously appeared together in “Measure for Measure” and “The Dressmaker.”

Raei, who has recent credits in “Clickbait,” “Stateless” and “The Night Agent,” stars in “The Rooster” as the cop who confronts Weaving’s volatile character, a forest-dwelling hermit who was the last person known to have seen his pal.

Other cast include: Helen Thomson (“Elvis,” “Top of the Lake”), Rhys Mitchell (“Cake,” “Upper Middle Bogan”), Bert La Bonte (“Surviving Summer,” “Five Bedrooms”), John Waters (“Offspring,” “Mystery Road”), Camilla Ah Kin (“Wakefield,” “Holding the Man”), Robert Menzies (“Little Tornadoes,” “Glitch”) and Deirdre Rubenstein (“Force of Destiny,” “Superwog”).

“ ‘The Rooster’ is a gripping story about friendship and how hope can come from unlikely places. It confronts themes around shame and masculinity with unexpected humor, whilst keeping the audience in suspense,” said the producers.

The film is produced by Logie-nominated actor Geraldine Hakewill (“Wanted,” “Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries”), and AACTA award-winning producer MahVeen Shahraki (“Ellie and Abbie,” “The Translator”) through her company Thousand Mile Productions. Executive producers on the project include Susie Montague-Delaney (“Ride Like a Girl,” “Pawno”), Patrick James (“Ellie and Abbie”) and Michael Kantor (“The Boy Castaways”).

The film will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Jonathan Page for Bonsai Films.

“ ‘The Rooster’ was written as an offering exploring the strange and lonely place a mental health crisis can take you. The fact that something born of isolation has brought together the most extraordinary cast and crew to work on it is a tremendous victory in its own right,” said Winter.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Mark’s exceptional and unique script to life with such an experienced team of HoDs, crew and cast. We can’t wait to share The Rooster with audiences around the world who crave nuanced, performance-driven mysteries,” said Hakewill and Shahraki in a joint statement.

“We were lucky enough to be able to shoot the film in an extraordinary part of the country that is rarely associated with the Australian landscape, being dark, cold, and often shrouded in mist. It is a living force in our story.”

From Variety US