Filming kicks off this week in Montana for Emmy® winning actress Thandie Newton (Solo: A Star Wars Story, HBO series Westworld) with latest role in God’s Country. The film marks a debut feature for Julian Higgins (House, Hulu series Guidance), and is described as “a neo-western set in the bleak winter landscape of the Mountain West”.
God’s Country is based on the short story “Winter’s Light” from New York Times bestselling, multi-award winning Mystery Writers of America and Guggenheim laureate, author and Pulitzer Prize nominee James Lee Burke. Newton will play a college professor living on her own at the edge of the national forest. According to the plot, her character soon finds her going toe-to-toe with two hunters trespassing on her land, triggering a battle of wills with dangerous ramifications.
Higgins is directing from a script by Shaye Ogbonna, and will produce with Cold Iron Pictures CEO Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall, and producer Halee Bernard. Anthony Ciardelli and The Film Arcade’s Jason Beck will serve as executive producers.
“Julian and Shaye’s radical new take on James Lee Burke’s story is a nuanced response to the times in which we live,” said Bailey. “We are thrilled to be working on this powerful film that puts Thandie’s remarkable acting talent front and center.”
LA-based Higgins’s short films have screened at over a hundred festivals around the globe and won dozens of prizes, including the gold medal Student Academy Award® and two Student Emmy® awards for his AFI thesis film, Thief. His most recent short, Winter Light, was a top-ten finalist for the 2016 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short.
Newton’s role in HBO series Westworld earned her the 2019 Emmy Award for “Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series,” and was nominated for back to back Golden Globe Awards as well as two SAG Awards. She’s also recognized by BAFTA and SAG for her wins with the Academy Award winning drama, Crash.
Her credits also partly include Mission Impossible 2, Beloved and The Pursuit Of Happyness, and upcoming Hugh Jackman sci-fi, Reminiscence.
She is represented by Untitled Entertainment, WME and Independent Talent Group. Higgins is represented by Good Fear Content.