Jennifer Kent

If one is still getting nightmares from Jennifer Kent‘s impeccably-realized debut film The Babadook, start getting prepared for more frightful imagery as she’s gearing up to begin production on her follow-up this month. The Nightingale is a Tasmania-set feature that takes place in 1929 and follows a young convict woman named Claire who seeks revenge for the murder of her family.

aisling-franciosiRevealed in a press release today, Aisling Franciosi (Jimmy’s Hall) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) have been cast in the lead roles. “It’s certainly not a horror film, but it’s a pretty horrific world,” she said last year, noting that the worst criminals in the British empire were sent to the locale. “It was a really crazy time for women. We only hear the sanitized version and I wanted to explore it for real.”

Also starring Damon Herriman, Ewen Leslie, Harry Greenwood, Baykali Ganambarr and Magnolia Maymuru, check out the synopsis below.

Set in Tasmania in 1825, THE NIGHTINGALE follows a beautiful 21-year-old Irish female convict who witnesses the brutal murder of her husband and baby by her soldier master and his cronies. Unable to find justice, she takes an Aboriginal male tracker with her through the hellish wilderness to seek revenge on the men, and gets much more than she bargained for.

“I want it to feel like it was almost like there was no sun, ever. They’re going into the centre of hell, and going out the other side,” adds Kent, saying she’s been inspired by Gustave Doré‘s dark illustrations. Expect a 2018 premiere for The Nightingale, which begins production this month in Tasmania courtesy of Bron Creative, Made Up Stories, Screen Australia, Screen Tasmania, and the South Australian Film Corporation.

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