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Zachary Levi to Lead Rock-Climbing Action Thriller ‘Free Fall’

April 16, 20244 Mins Read

“Shazam” star Zachary Levi is set to headline rock-climbing action thriller “Free Fall” for XYZ Films, with acclaimed New Zealand stuntwoman and stunt coordinator Zoë Bell tapped to direct.

The film — written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker — tells the story of a father’s attempt to reconcile with his estranged daughter on a rock-climbing trip that turns deadly as an accident leaves them stranded hundreds of feet in the air. Production is set to start later this year in New Zealand. Tom Hern and Nua Finau of Tavake are producing, with Navid McIlhargey and Erik Olsen executive producing alongside Finegan, Parker and Levi.

Bell began her career as a stunt performer on “Xena: Warrior Princess” and then alongside Quentin Tarantino as a stunt woman and coordinator over a decades-long relationship. She has worked on films such as “The Hateful Eight,” “Django Unchained,” “Kill Bill,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Iron Man 3.” She was recently the stunt coordinator on Taika Waititi’s “Time Bandits,” where she also served as second unit director. Alongside “Free Fall,” she is also attached to direct an action comedy inspired by her viral short film “Boss Bitch Fight Challenge” for Lionsgate.

“This script is the perfect combo of heartfelt and heart-stopping,” Bell said in a statement. “Between the producing team, the cast and the New Zealand crews, words don’t do justice to how thrilled I am to be bringing this film home.”

The project is the second recent collaboration between Tavake and XYZ, who are in post-production on “Madam,” a half-hour dramedy series set within New Zealand’s legal sex work industry.

“We’re very excited to embark on this film with so many longtime friends,” said exec producers McIlhargey and Olsen. “Sean wrote the script after working with us as an executive on the Warner Bros. lot. And that’s where we met Zac while he was shooting ‘Chuck’ on Stage 4 and befriended Zoë after seeing her brilliant stunt work in ‘Kill Bill.’”

Added Hern and Finau: “We are stoked to be teaming up with the guys at XYZ again to help bring Zoë Bell’s feature debut to the world. Zoë’s an incredible talent and an iconic Kiwi. The script sets the table not only for her renowned action direction chops, but also plenty of heart and humanity.”

Writers Finegan and Parker have collaborated on numerous project across a range of genres, including high-concept action and family films. Parker is the author of the popular middle grade book “Troublemakers,” which has a sequel due out this year. Finegan is developing and executive producing the spy thriller series “Unknown” at Netflix with Dark Castle, Liam Neeson, Jaume Collet-Serra, Karl Gajdusek, Speed Weed and “Free Fall” collaborator Olsen executive producing.

Bell is repped by CAA and Dash Aiken and Rock Shaink of Romark Entertainment. Levi is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Finegan is repped by Verve, Anonymous Content and attorney Lawrence Kopeikin. Hern and Finau are repped by Kaplan/Perrone. Parker is repped by attorney Lawrence Kopeikin. McIlhargey and Olsen are repped by Tifanie Acosta at Entertainment Law Partners.  

Current titles from XYZ Films include Sundance title “Skywalkers: A Love Story,” which sold to Netflix; “Blackberry,” starring Gotham and Independent Spirit nominee Glenn Howerton, which was released by IFC Films; Atom Egoyan’s TIFF selection “Seven Veils” starring Amanda Seyfried; “Ash” starring Eiza González and Aaron Paul and directed by Flying Lotus; recent TIFF acquisition “Backspot” starring Devery Jacobs and Evan Rachel Wood; the Netflix Original “Havoc,” directed by Gareth Evans and starring Tom Hardy and Forrest Whitaker; and “Daniela Forever,” directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Henry Golding and Beatrice Grannó.

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