Set in post earthquake Christchurch and based on the young adult novel by Margaret Mahy, The Changeover will feature a stellar international and local cast including Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech), Nick Galitzine (High Strung, The Beat Beneath my Feet), Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, Two and a Half Men), Lucy Lawless (Xena, Ash vs Evil Dead), Dame Kate Harcourt (Hope and Wire, Separation City), newcomers Erana James and Benji Purchase. Principal photography for this supernatural coming of age thriller will begin on September 19th and will run till the end of October.
The Changeover will be directed by husband and wife creative duo Stuart McKenzie and Miranda Harcourt. A formidable partnership, Stuart and Miranda have years of film, theatre and TV behind them. It is Stuart who has adapted Margaret Mahy’s classic teen novel from page to screen and Miranda most recently was acting coach on a number of high profile international films including the upcoming blockbuster Lion. The duo is thrilled to be bringing this fantastic story to the big screen.
"I fell in love with this story in 1984," says Harcourt. "I was lucky enough to narrate it on the radio when it was first published. Now nearly 30 years later we are making it as a movie. Newcomer Erana James is an amazing discovery for the lead role and she is surrounded with internationally renowned talents including Kiwis Lucy Lawless and Melanie Lynskey, who shot her very first film here in Christchurch, Heavenly Creatures. The magic of Margaret’s classic novel has brought some very special talent together."
The film will be shot entirely on location in and around the Christchurch CBD. Harcourt and McKenzie describe the city as a pivotal character in the feature and is quick to praise the city for its warm welcome to the cast and crew.
“Stuart was born and bred in Christchurch and it is a great pleasure for us to be able to bring this story home where it belongs," continues Harcourt. "Christchurch crew, actors and locations have been so willing to help. You can’t fake the look of this city, it is magical.”
The Changeover will be produced by Emma Slade from Firefly Films with investment from the New Zealand Film Commission, private investors and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant. Financing has been in association with Fulcrum Media Finance. Production partners include Park Road Post Production, Pukeko Pictures and the Christchurch City Council. Radiant Films International, based in Los Angeles, will sell the film globally (outside of Australia and NZ) with Vendetta Films distributing the film locally with a tentative release date of late 2017.
To download high res images of the key cast and creatives please click HERE: