‘The Royal Hotel’ Starring Julia Garner and Hugo Weaving Starts Filming in South Australia

The Royal Hotel's writer and director
Courtesy of Screen Australia

Production is now underway on “The Royal Hotel”, a new film written and directed by Kitty Green (pictured above).

Filming is taking place in remote South Australia and in Adelaide, with production by See-Saw Films. Neon has acquired the North American rights.

The film stars Emmy Award-winner Julia Garner (“Inventing Anna” and “Ozark”), AACTA Award-winner Toby Wallace (“Baby Teeth” and “Pistol”), Jessica Henwick (“The Matrix Resurrections”) and AFI winner Hugo Weaving (“The Matrix” and “Love Me”).

The social thriller film is inspired by true events, following Hanna (Garner) and Liv (Henwick) as they backpack around Australia. The duo run out of money and take live-in bar jobs at ‘The Royal Hotel’ in a remote outback mining town.

Bar owner Billy (Weaving) and a host of locals, including Matty (Wallace), give the women a riotous introduction to Down Under drinking culture, but things turn nasty when their jokes and behaviour cross the line.

A teaser for the film says: “Soon Hanna and Liv find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control.”

Director Green and actor Garner have worked together previously on “The Assistant”, which premiered at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival and earned Garner a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award.

“The Royal Hotel” is produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, the award-winning team behind “The Power of the Dog”, “Lion” and “The King’s Speech”. Liz Watts (“Animal Kingdom” and “The King”), See-Saw Films’ head of film and television, and Scarlett Pictures’ Kath Shelper (“Samson and Delilah”) are also on board.

Simon Gillis, See-Saw Films’ COO, will executive produce.

Green co-wrote the script with Oscar Redding (“Van Diemen’s Land”).

“The Royal Hotel” has major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. It was also financed with support from Screen NSW.

When the film was announced back in April, Grainne Brunsdon, then Screen Australia’s head of content, said: “We’re delighted to support award-winning director Kitty Green’s first feature at home in Australia with this uniquely Australian psychological thriller. Together with the exceptional team at See-Saw, talented co-writer Oscar Redding and an outstanding cast, Green is poised to make a big splash and we’re confident this film will enthral audiences here and around the world.”

See-Saw’s Sherman and Canning added: “We are very happy to be working with Neon again on the release of “The Royal Hotel”. Neon have an undeniable history of supporting both emerging and established filmmakers, and putting together innovative and provocative campaigns. We know that they are the right home to bring this film to US theatres.”