Rose Byrne to play New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in film based on Christchurch mosque shootings
Bridesmaids’ actress Rose Byrne is to play New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a new film.
They Are Us will be written by New Zealander Andrew Niccol and will be set in March 2019 after the Christchurch mosque shootings. The terror attack killed 51 people and injured 40.
The film is being billed as an “inspirational story about the young leader’s response to the tragic events” and will follow Ardern as she helped rally the government and NZ public behind a message of compassion and unity.
“They Are Us is not so much about the attack but the response to the attack…how an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support,” said Niccol in The Hollywood Reporter.
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“The film addresses our common humanity, which is why I think it will speak to people around the world. It is an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.”
Production will take place in New Zealand.
A spokesperson for Jacinda Ardern said: “The Prime Minister and the Government have no involvement with the film.”
New Zealand screenwriter Andrew Niccol has won a BAFTA and been nominated for an Oscar for his film The Truman Show and he directed Gattaca, The Host and Good Kill.
The Hollywood Reporter says the script was developed in consultation with several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy.
“We are thrilled to bring to market this inspiring true story about the positive impact, even in the darkest of moments, a strong leader can have on their constituents’ lives when they work from a place of compassion, love and an unwavering conviction to do what is right,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner in the Hollywood Reporter.