English-born actress Hannah Al-Rashid has taken the female lead in Exiled: The Chosen Ones, the new independent action thriller from Ranjeet S. Marwa (The Boy Who Never Came Home). Talks have been underway as pre-production continued this past week with Singaporean actor Sunny Pang (Headshot, TV series Code Of Law) arriving in Birmingham, U.K. for Monday’s start of principal photography.
Marwa is directing from his own script, reteaming Al-Rashid with her The Night Comes For Us co-star, Pang, and joining a primary cast that also lists Carl Wharton (The Tombs), and a reunion for Marwa with Faith Can Wait actors James Bryhan (Shadow And Bone) and Craig Edwards (Pumpkins), and actor and stunt performer Nick Khan (Tribal: Get Out Alive, The Asian Connection) who is also designing the gruesome action sequences.
Production also marks the latest tenacious effort by Marwa who initially started the year out by promoting crowdfunding for revenge action thriller, Blood Rush, only to have to scale back those plans as the Covid-19 pandemic landed worldwide, drastically reshaping the film production and marketing landscape this year.
“I developed the project after two of my other projects were pushed back.” says Marwa, in a statement to Film Combat Syndicate. “No financier wanted to take a chance on any new projects, and so I decided to self-finance this movie myself with the help of three others. I got the project together within six-to-seven weeks and now we are officially making the movie.”
To date, Marwa still plans on moving forward with Blood Rush, as well as crime thriller, Traced, both which were announced and pitched during Cannes virtual market a few months ago. During the Spring and Summer, he independently produced his own quarantine documentary, Covid-19: The Impact On Asian Cinema.
In Exiled: The Chosen Ones, Pang stars as Hiro, a cold and calculating Yakuza hitman forced to compete for his life among a row of society’s worst criminals, in a deadly game devised by a corporate cabal overseeing a nefarious population control scheme, while the rich place their bets.
“I wanted to work with Sunny since seeing him in Headshot and Hannah in TNCFU” adds Marwa. “Since then, I have seen them in many films, and I wrote this film with Sunny in mind, and Hannah joined afterwards. Both talents believed in my work, and decided to board the project.”
Apart from her brutalizing role as the sexy blonde French assassin in Timo Tjahjanto’s The Night Comes For Us, some of Al-Rashid’s credits also include action comedies Skakmat with The Raid actor Donny Alamsyah, Comic 8: Casino Kings 1 and 2 from director Anggy Umbara, Mike Wiluan’s period Western actioner, Buffalo Boys, and Joko Anwar’s 2019 Bumilangit Cinematic Universe launchpad, Gundala.
Marwa is producing through his Rocket Sky High label, alongside Djonny Chen of Silent D Pictures (Daemon Mind, Jump).