B lack Water: The Abyss joins Billie Holiday biopic on Altitude’s EFM slate
The team behind survival thriller “Black Water” are reuniting to make a sequel, with Altitude Film Sales on board and set to introduce it to buyers in Berlin at the EFM.
Director and producer team Andrew Traucki (“The Reef”) and Michael Robertson are making “Black Water: Abyss” and hoping to repeat the success of the original 2007 feature, which was set in Australia’s mangrove swamps and inspired by a real-life crocodile attack. It sold to more than 70 countries.
“Black Water: Abyss” was written by Sarah Smith and Ian John Ridley. It follows an adventure-loving couple who convince their friends to explore a remote cave system in the forests of Northern Australia. With a storm approaching, they abseil into the mouth of the cave, which starts to flood, and find themselves threatened by a pack of crocodiles, setting up a tense survival drama. “Black Water: Abyss” is produced by Michael Robertson and Neal Kingston. Robert Slaviero is executive producer. Casting is underway.
Mike Runagall from Altitude said the sequel will retain the feel of the original, which largely eschewed CGI and was shot with live crocodiles. “‘Black Water: Abyss’ employs the same ingenious approach on a much larger canvas to deliver a highly commercial high-concept thriller from a team with a proven track record in this arena,” he said.
Producer Robertson added: “Like all films in this genre, ‘Black Water: Abyss’ is designed to terrify and scare, cause dread and alarm, to invoke our worst hidden fears – in this case, a fear heavily imprinted in our genes, the fear of being eaten alive by a vicious, unreasoning predator.”
“Black Water: The Abyss” joins Billie Holiday biopic “Billie” on Altitude’s EFM slate. “Billie” is directed by James Erskine, and Victoria Gregory and Barry Clark-Ewers produce through New Black Films.
It is based on interviews with people who knew the singer, amassed in the 1970s by journalist Linda Kuehl for a biography that was never written. The interviewees include Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett and Count Basie, as well as Holiday’s friends, family, and acquaintances. The filmmakers said “Billie” will play like a film noir, and blend archive, drama, and animation.
Altitude has boarded “Billie” for international sales and will co-represent U.S. rights with Endeavor Content. Altitude’s Runagall, Will Clarke, and Andy Mayson serve as executive producers. Altitude Film Distribution will distribute the film in the U.K. and Ireland.