Rose Byrne has been cast as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a film about the 2019 New Zealand mosque shooting.
The film, called They Are Us, will be helmed by The Truman Show writer Andrew Niccol. It will follow the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks on New Zealand’s Muslim community.
Ardern, who was also Prime Minister at the time of the attack, went on to ban assault rifles in her country as a result.
A synopsis has described the film as “an inspirational story about the young leader’s response to the tragic events, and the remarkable achievements of her government and citizens who rallied behind her message of compassion and unity to ban assault rifles in New Zealand.”
The terrorist attacks took place at two mosques in the city of Christchurch in 2019. A total of 51 people were killed and 49 were injured.
Arden was praised internationally for her response to the attack. The film’s title comes from a speech that she made that described the victims following the attacks.
Niccol said in a statement, as reported by Variety: “They Are Us is not so much about the attack, but the response to the attack.”
He added: “How an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support. 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.”
Byrne will next appear in Apple TV+ series Physical. Set against the backdrop of the 1980s aerobics craze, the dark comedy stars Byrne as a trailblazing lifestyle guru and dutiful housewife. The show will launch on June 18.
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Date: 11 June 2021
Author: Beth Webb