Award-winning production company Synchronicity Films (The Cry, Only You, The Party’s Just Beginning) in co-production with Lee Brazier’s Mr B Films, has attached the lead cast for Rodger Griffiths’ feature debut Kill.
Ralph Ineson (Chernobyl, Buster Scruggs, The Witch), BAFTA Scotland winner Lorn Macdonald (Bridgerton, Beats, Deadwater Fell) and Brian Vernel (Gangs of London, Dunkirk, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens) will star as father and sons caught up in a dark family thriller.
Helming his first feature film, Griffiths has written and will direct Kill, which is produced by Synchronicity and Mr B Films, with Claire Mundell and Lee Brazier producing. It was developed with support from Screen Scotland and Northern Ireland Screen.
Casting Director, Kelly Valentine Hendry has already started an open casting search for a new young Scottish actor to play the role of the youngest brother.
Kill is a nail-biting thriller which explores the sins of a father and the relationship between three damaged boys, trying to survive.
In a remote forest, a small hunting party stalk for deer. Three brothers, Henry aged 21 (Macdonald), John aged 18 (Vernel), Vince aged 16 and their father Don aged 50 (Ineson) trudge in a line through the trees, the daylight dying fast. Finally, they catch sight of a deer, but as Don takes aim something unusual catches his eye. A rope hangs around the deer’s neck. The animal is a decoy. John stands a few feet away, his gunsight trained on his father, finger straining on the trigger and Don realises he is the prey.
Don is a violent and abusive father, responsible for the recent death of the boys’ mother. The brothers are here to avenge her murder and to put an end to the cycle of violence that has consumed their young lives. They bury Don in a shallow grave and make their way back to the farmhouse. But what should be the start of their freedom, becomes the beginning of a whole new set of problems. Before long, they realise the key to the safe containing Don’s life savings is still around his neck and the boys must return to the forest and the gruesome task of digging up their father. But when they do so, Don’s body is no longer there. In its place lies the carcass of a freshly killed deer.
Claire Mundell, Founder and Creative Director at Synchronicity Films, said: “We recognise in Roger’s script a strong feature debut – a dark, gripping, elevated thriller which resonates powerful themes of family violence at the same time as it delivers on the genre hallmarks of suspense and tension. Ralph, Lorn and Brian will bring the characters to life with chilling menace and we are excited to find a new or upcoming Scottish actor to play the youngest brother. Kill is primed to be the first production out on our slate, once Covid lockdown lifts.”
Lee Brazier, Founder and MD at Mr B Films adds: “From the moment Claire and I started developing Kill, it was crystal clear that Rodger was a unique talent and he has created an incredibly powerful and original thriller.”
Synchronicity’s feature slate has included BIFA award winners Only You (Laia Costa, Josh O’Connor) written and directed by Harry Wootliff who was nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, and Andrew Haigh’s critically acclaimed Weekend, starring Tom Cullen, Chris New and Jonathan Race, on both of which they were co-producers with The Bureau. Synchronicity also produced Karen Gillan’s debut feature The Party’s Just Beginning and Justin Molotnikov’s BAFTA Scotland winning Crying with Laughter.
Lee Brazier previously Executive Produced the Danny Boyle / Richard Curtis hit Yesterday which to date has taken over $150M at the box office. He also Executive Produced Calibre, which won The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Mr B Film’s current slate includes an adaptation of the hit stage play The Holy Holy Bus and an original thriller from David Scinto (Sexy Beast).
Ralph Ineson’s notable roles include William in Robert Eggers’ indie horror breakout The Witch, Dagmer Cleftjaw in Game of Thrones, Amycus Carrow in the last three Harry Potter films, Donald Bamford in the BBC drama series Goodnight Sweetheart, Chris Finch in the BBC sitcom The Office, and Nikolai Tarakanov in the HBO drama miniseries Chernobyl.
Lorn Macdonald is an award-winning actor. He was winner of the Best Actor in Film at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2019 for his performance of Spanner in Beats and has played roles in Outlander, Shetland and Deadwater Fell. His latest role was in Bridgerton for Netflix. He has a notable career on stage, nominated for Best Actor in the 2019 Off West End Awards for his performance in Mouthpiece.
Brian Vernel is currently starring as Billy Wallace in the hugely successful Sky drama Gangs of London. He starred in David Hare’s Collateral opposite Carey Mulligan and Christopher Nolan’s feature Dunkirk. He played Bala-Tik in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was named as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow.