Pre-production remains for director John Balazs’ feature debut, Rage, set to commence in the first quarter next year. Casting also continued in the months since newcomer Matt Theo was attached to star and the latest word now brings aboard actor and martial arts star Richard Norton to the fray.
Toned as a throwback noir thriller in the vein of a 1950s/1960s look with a David Fincher feel, Rage spawns a tale of vengeance, psychological intrigue and mystique when a violent home invasion leaves mild-mannered Noah (Matt Theo) in a coma, and his wife Madelyn (Hayley Beveridge) deeply traumatized.
Sans other details toward the plot, Norton will play the hard-hitting detective Rudy Bennet of the story from a script by Michael J. Kospiah (The Suicide Theory).
A great among greats, Norton stands out as one of the foremost celebrated athletes and film stars in martial arts and movie history, training from the age of 11 and mastering several styles to co-create his own hybridized style, Zen Do Kai Karate. He’s served as a bodyguard to rock and roll greats, and eventually broke into acting with Eric Karson’s 1980 thriller, The Octagon, opposite then-burgeoning action star Chuck Norris.
The following 38 years would see Norton living out a career in acting and stunts that would amass credits among other stars in the late 80s and onward, including Cynthia Rothrock, Don Wilson, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, to name a few. As fight coordinator and trainer to the stars, recent credits include Ghost In The Shell, Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad, and upcoming Dark Phoenix and Netflix movie Triple Frontier.
Rage will be one of several collaborations for Norton with Balazs since collaborating on sci-fi short, Earthrise, and as fight supervisor on the 2016 hitman short, Dancer – That film was a highly decorated film festival success that segued Balazs into further award-winning fruition with this year’s explosive short crime action thriller, Night Shift, with Adele Elasmar, Stephen Degenaro, Liz Conrado and Zia Kelly.
“We are so incredibly lucky to have the talented Richard Norton come on board our feature film, Rage.” the production said in a statement on Monday. “Richard has been a rock in the martial arts world and really put Australia on the map having worked alongside Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Will Smith and Scarlett Johansson just to name a few. A true superstar in his own right, we are looking forward to really showcasing his dramatic skills as the hard hitting detective Rudy Bennet.”
Rounding out the current cast of the Australian production are Natasha Maymon in the role of Sofia, Tony Kotsopoulos for the role of Tommy, Jasper Bagg co-starring as Randy, and newly-added Tottie Goldsmith for the part of Betsy.
Marlane Ghmed is producing Rage under her shared Prima Lux Films banner with Balazs. Theo is serving as executive producer with Vikki Blinks as associate producer.