AFM: ‘Wyrmwood’ Director Kiah Roache-Turner Plots WWII Shark Thriller ‘Beast of War’


The feature follows a group of stranded Australian soldiers who face off against a great white shark following an attack on their warship, and is being launched by Cornerstone.

Another shark movie is set to join the already bloody waters of the American Film Market, this time from Brit banner Cornerstone.

The company has reteamed with genre writer and director Kiah Roache-Turner (StingWyrmwood: Apocalypse, Nekrotronic) on his upcoming survival action thriller Beast of War, in which a band of soldiers stranded in the open ocean must face a heart-pounding battle for survival against the ultimate apex predator — a great white shark. Cornerstone will handle worldwide sales and distribution and will launch the project at the upcoming AFM.

Set in 1942, Beast of War follows a warship carrying hundreds of Australian soldiers across the Timor Sea to the frontline of WWII. Suddenly, Japanese fighter jets scream out of the sky, and within minutes the ocean becomes a hell of steel, fire, oil and blood. With the vessel destroyed, a handful of soldiers build a makeshift raft from floating debris as they cling to their lives. Tensions run high between the hot-headed and terrified young men, as they band together in an effort to survive. But their biggest battle is yet to come. In the dark below, a great white shark hunts in the wreckage and is drawn to the smell of fresh blood in the water.

The film is produced by Bronte Pictures’ Blake Northfield (Streamline, Wyrmwood: Apocalypse, Escape and Evasion) and Pictures in Paradise’s Chris Brown (StingDaybreakersThe Railway Man) and will commence production in 2024 in Australia and Malta. CreatureNFX’s director Paul Trefry, known for his work with the likes of James Cameron, Ridley Scott and Baz Luhrmann and whose credits include Alien: Covenant and Unbroken, will create the practical creature effects from his studio in Australia.

Roache-Turner started his career in the commercial world and in 2015 he released his debut film Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, which premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin. His follow-up feature Nekrotonic, starring Monica Bellucci, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and Wyrmwood: Apocalypse won the Audience Award at the 2021 Sydney Film Festival. Cornerstone is also handling worldwide sales and distribution for Roache-Turner’s upcoming arachnophobia horror Sting, which will be released by Studiocanal in the U.K., Australia, New Zeland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Benelux.

“We loved working with Kiah on Sting.” said Cornerstone’s Alison Thompson, while Mark Gooder commented. “He’s a kinetic filmmaker with a deep respect for the genre and we know he will deliver a distinctive and adrenaline-fueled shark movie.”