Principal photography has wrapped in Dublin on WOLF, starring George MacKay (1917, Pride) and Lily-Rose Depp (The King). Further cast includes Paddy Considine (Journeyman, How To Build A Girl) and Eileen Walsh (Rialto, The Magdalene Sisters). WOLF is the first independent film supported by Screen Ireland to shoot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WOLF is written and directed by Nathalie Biancheri (Nocturnal), produced by Jessie Fisk of Feline Films and Jane Doolan of Mammoth Films The co-producers are Mariusz Wlodarski and Agnieszka Wasiak of Lava Films in Poland. Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights, excluding Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and the Middle East, and will distribute in the U.S. with Universal Pictures International distributing their territories internationally. Sales were handled by Bankside Films and CAA.
Synopsis: Jacob (George MacKay) believes he is a wolf trapped in a human body, a real-life condition known as species dysphoria. When his distraught family send him to a clinic which specializes in the treatment of the disorder, he meets the other patients – Duck (Senan Jennings), Squirrel (Darragh Shannon), Horse (Elisa Fionuir), Parrot (Lola Petticrew), Spider (Amy Macken) and German Shepherd (Fionn O’Shea) – who all self-identify as another species. Together they are forced to undergo increasingly extreme forms of “curative” therapies at the hands of The Zookeeper (Paddy Considine), whose methods are unconventional and cruel. The only respite to this ever-growing restlessness is the enigmatic Wildcat (Lily-Rose Depp) with whom he roams the hospital in the dead of night. The two form an improbable friendship that develops into infatuation. But can he renounce his true self for love, and will he ever be able to deny the being inside?
“It’s been very challenging but also a creatively stimulating adventure made possible by an outstanding cast and incredible team of support,” said writer and director Nathalie Biancheri.
“It’s been an incredible journey realizing WOLF, this project has been a huge part of myself and Nathalie’s life for the last few years, we couldn’t have imagined the journey being quite so surreal. Focus came on board the project at a time where we felt we were trying to make the impossible happen in shooting the film during a pandemic and to have such an enormous champions of cinema recognize the potential in WOLF was such wonderful motivation. With the support of Screen Ireland and the incredible cast and crew, Nathalie has truly created something very special in WOLF.”
Biancheri reunites with her past creative team from Nocturnal: Director of Photography Michal Dymek and editor Andonis Trattos. Further creative team includes Production Designer Joe Fallover (The Lodgers), Costume Designer Allison Byrne (Cracks), Make Up Designer Aisling Nairn (Tenet), Hair Designer Jennie Readman (Vivarium).
Executive producers are Celine Haddad for Screen Ireland, Stephen Kelliher for Bankside Films, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross for Head Gear Films, the Polish Film Institute and Eurimages.