Filming is officially underway in the territory of Tāmaki Makaurau for action drama, The Legend Of Baron T’oa. Director Kiel McNaughton marks his feature directing debut, pairing off with Brown Sugar Apple Grunt’s own Kerry Warkia following shared credits that partly include 2017 child abuse drama, Waru, and TV shows like Auckland Daze and Find Me A Maori Bride.
As the logline reads, The Legend Of Baron T’oa centers on “a Tongan entrepreneur who returns to his old neighbourhood and inadvertently causes the theft of his late father’s valued pro-wrestling title belt by some ruthless gangsters. When negotiation and diplomacy fail to get it back, he is forced to embrace his father’s legacy to reclaim the title.”
McNaughton’s all-star Pasifika and Māori cast includes Uli Latukefu (Alien: Covenant, Marco Polo), Nathaniel Lees (The Matrix Reloaded), Jay Laga’aia (Star Wars), John Tui (Battleship, Hobbs & Shaw), Shortland Street alumni Shavaughn Ruakere and Pua Magasiva, and Fasitua Amosa (Auckland Daze, Fresh Eggs). They’re joined by a world renowned Kiwi stunt team lead by Augie Davis (Adrift, The Meg, Pete’s Dragon) and Andy Stehlin (X Men: Dark Phoenix, Hacksaw Ridge).
“The all-star brown cast we have assembled for this film is amazing. I’ve always wanted my first feature to be an action film and with a great script from writer, John Argall, and some amazing action sequences put together by our world-class local crew, this film is going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait to bring it to life.” said McNaughton.
The New Zealand Film Commission is funding the production with Madman Entertainment (Hunt For The Wilderpeople, The Breakeruppers) releasing the film in New Zealand and Australia by Madman Entertainment. XYZ Films (The Dead Lands, Arctic, The Raid, Beyond Skyline, Brawl in Cell Block 99) are repping the film internationally.