AFM: Elijah Wood to star in ‘Bookworm’ in New Zealand

“Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood is returning to New Zealand in the lead role in “Bookworm,” a family adventure comedy directed by Ant Timpson (“Turbo Baby,” “The Gracey Strangler,” “The Apex of Death,” “Come To my father”). The project will be launched next week at American Film Market by sales agent Mister Smith Entertainment.

The film’s plot sees 12-year-old Mildred’s life turned upside down when her mother lands in the hospital and is taken into her care by American charming father Straw Wise (Wood). Hoping to entertain the teens, Straw takes Mildred camp in the rugged New Zealand wilderness. There the couple embark on the ultimate test of family bonding – the quest to find the legendary monster known as the Canterbury Panther.

Given that Mildred has read every book about camping, but has never been to the prairie, and that Straw is more at home in the Las Vegas strip than in the Southern Alps, the possibility of an unfortunate accident is high.

The film’s title is a reference to David Mamet’s screenplay later filmed as “The Edge” by Lee Tamahori and starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. Timpson and screenwriter Toby Harvard say the two films share an outside New Zealand vibe and a scripted personality who thinks they know it all.

“Bookworm” is currently in production and will be filmed on location in New Zealand in March and April 2023. CAA Media Finance handles rights sales in North America.

Produced by Emma Slade (“Naked Tuesday”, “King Rabbit Justice”, “Come to Daddy”), Roxy Ball (“Naked Tuesday”, “King Bunny Justice”), and Victoria Dabbs (“One Winter,” “The Changeover”) from the movie Firefly Films, Mette-Marie Kongsved (“I Don’t Feel Like Home in This World Anymore,” “Come to Daddy,” and “Nine Days”), Laura Tunstall (“Get Duked!” “Come to Daddy,” “Nine Days.” ‘) from nowhere.

It’s the second film that Wood and the production team have worked on together, after “Come to Daddy” and the third time Timpson and Harvard have collaborated, after “Come to Daddy” and “The Salamander Lives Twice.” The thriller comedy, “Come to Daddy” was a three-way co-production with New Zealand, Canada and Ireland, and premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Toby and I are always obsessed with dads and their weaknesses, especially traits we fear having or exhibiting,” Timpson said. “Bookworm will be a love letter to the runaway cinema of the ’70s we grew up in, a non-pimping cinema where adults and kids enjoy all the tricks on screen equally.”

“We love this script, which is so reminiscent of the best of New Zealand cinema – with its smart, dry wit and honest emotional energy – all against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. The father-daughter relationship is funny and engaging,” said David Garrett, CEO of Mister Smith Entertainment. Extremely.

Firefly Films has credits including the 2022 Tribeca title and Edinburgh Festival “Nude Tuesday”, the currently US release “The Justice of Bunny Kong” and the feature-length documentary “Mister Organ” directed by David Farrier which recently premiered at the Fantastic Festival. One Winter, starring Julian Dennison, Minnie Driver, and Reese Darby, is heading for release later this month.

Nowhere is a Los Angeles based production and marketing company. She has produced films including Ninian Dove’s first feature film “Get Duked”, which premiered at SXSW 2019; Timpson “Come to Daddy”; Edson Oda’s science fiction drama “Nine Days” starring Winson Duke, Zazzie Beetz, Bill Skarsgård and Benedict Wong.

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