What would a woman do if her partner died and, thanks to a miracle of science, she had the power to bring him back? What would she do and what would be the consequences?
That’s the premise of Australian director John V. Soto’s feature film Love You Twice, which will star Jacqueline McKenzie, whose credits include USA Network’s The 4400, Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner and Australian TV dramas Love Child and Hiding.
Backed by China’s Beijing Cheetah Yassa and Australian investors, the sci-fi drama starts shooting in Perth on October 31, produced by Soto and Deidre Kitcher’s Filmscope Entertainment and Convergence Productions. Arclight Films will handle worldwide sales to the $2 million film excluding Australia, where Rialto Distribution will distribute.
Jacqueline McKenzie plays Jane Chandler, a particle physicist who is still grieving over the loss of her husband when she makes a revolutionary invention to bring him back, with dire consequences for their family. Myles Pollard (Drift, The Turning) plays her husband Matt Chandler and another character who looks exactly the same. Hayley McElhinney (The Babadook) plays Jane’s sister Ruth, who helps her deal with the loss of her husband. Shannon Berry (Syfy’s Hunters) and 18-year-old newcomer Ryan Panizza play Jane’s teenage children Samantha and Jake Chandler and UFC fighter Soa Palelei is an athlete and friend of Matt’s.
Soto co-wrote the screenplay with Perth-based British author Michael White, who has written more than 35 books, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, including Equinox, Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science, Leonardo: The First Scientist, Tolkien: A Biography and C. S. Lewis: The Boy Who Chronicled Narnia.
Soto sent the script to Jacqueline McKenzie’s Australian agent, Matt Andrews at Marquee; the actress read it and responded quickly. “I’m very lucky to have secured such a talented actress for the highly challenging lead role,” he told me. After the shoot McKenzie will head to Broadway for four months to work with Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh in the Sydney Theatre Co. production of The Present, Andrew Upton’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play.