Neill, Pearce & Otto Will Change in 9 Weeks

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Sam Neill, Guy Pearce and Miranda Otto will star in new Australian crime drama How to Change in 9 Weeks, which begins shooting in Queensland this week before moving to Melbourne. Icon Film Distribution will release the film.

Director Simone North and producer Tony Cavanaugh have hired director-producer Sidney Lumet to serve as a mentor for North in her debut feature as a writer-director.

The thriller is based on the story of a 15-year-old Australian student, Rachel Barber, who went missing in Melbourne in 1999 and was found to have been murdered by a former childhood friend, Caroline Reid.

Newcomers Kate Bell and Ruth Murphy have been cast in the key roles of Barber and Reid while Pearce and Otto will star as Rachel’s parents. Neill plays Caroline’s father, David Reid, and Rebecca Gibney plays her mother. Other supporting cast members include AFI Award winner Justine Clarke.

“Weeks” is scheduled for release in Australia in early 2008.

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