VICE Studios and Seaside Productions have commenced production on Mirrah Foulkes’ feature film directorial debut, Judy and Punch.
The live-action reinterpretation of the puppet play Punch and Judy, commences its shoot in Victoria, Australia, with Damon Herriman (Justified) confirmed to join Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) to round-out the titular roles. Foulkes has penned the script and will also direct the brutal, original and violent re-imagining.
Punch and Judy will be filmed across multiple locations in and around Melbourne and is produced by Michele Bennett (Chopper), alongside Nash Edgerton (The Square) and VICE’s Danny Gabai (Lords of Chaos). Madman Entertainment will be distributing in Australia and New Zealand with Cornerstone Films attached for international sales.
“Mirrah has written a bold script, taking an old story and turning it on its head. Her vision for the world and the characters she has created is unwavering and has inspired us to all strive to help her achieve that vision”, said Michele Bennett and Nash Edgerton.
The play has been traditionally told with marionettes, its origins dating back to the 16th century. This films interpretation will see puppeteers Judy and her husband Punch, in the peculiar and unforgiving town of Seaside as they endeavour to use their show to escape to loftier means. Punch is charismatic but with a sinister side, and his actions propel the story to brutal consequences, seeing Judy team up with a band of outcast heretics to enact revenge on him and the entire town of Seaside.
Landing her first acting role at fifteen, Wasikowska has amassed an incredibly diverse and impressive oeuvre. From her breakthrough international role in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland to starring in the Oscar nominated The Kids Are Alright the same year, she has since played the lead role in Jane Eyre alongside Michael Fassbender, starred in the critically acclaimed Stoker with Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode and was the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.
One of Australia’s best character actors, Herriman has extensive credits both in Australia and the US. His film credits include Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale as well as J. Edgar opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner. Across TV he is in the upcoming Mr Inbetween for FX directed by Nash Edgerton as well as having previously starred in Top of the Lake: China Girl directed by Jane Campion, Secret City on Foxtel and a recurring role in the FX series Justified.
Judy and Punch received major production investment from VICE Studios and Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and Create NSW.