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In the Works: Michael Fassbender Starring In and Producing Western 'Slow West,' Now Filming in New Zealand

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 21, 2013 at 1:53PM

Details have been revealed for a film, currently in production, starring and produced by Michael Fassbender. It is the actor's first film as a producer. "Slow West," a Western helmed by feature newcomer John Maclean, also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Caren Postorius, and is shooting in New Zealand and Scotland.
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Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender

Details have been revealed for a film, currently in production, starring and produced by Michael Fassbender. It is the actor's first film as a producer. "Slow West," a Western helmed by feature newcomer John Maclean, also stars Ben Mendelsohn ("Animal Kingdom"), Kodi Smit-McPhee ("Let Me In") and Caren Postorius (Aussie TV series "Offspring"), and is shooting in New Zealand and Scotland.

Set in Colorado and the Scottish Highlands (with NZ doubling for CO, apparently), the film takes place in the 19th century, as a teen (McPhee) journeys across the American West in search of a young woman he loves, and meets up with a mysterious fellow traveler named Silas (Fassbender).

Cinematographer Robbie Ryan ("Philomena," Andrea Arnold's gorgeous "Wuthering Heights") is lensing. Maclean directed the lauded short film, 2012's "Pitch Black Heist," where Fassbender also starred.

Producing alongside Fassbender are Iain Canning and Emile Sherman ("The King's Speech" and "Shame"). 

Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as a black man kidnapped into slavery in the years before the Civil War, and Michael Fassbender as his cruel and constantly drunk slave master Edwin Epps, hit theaters this past weekend to a strong per-screen average. Despite Oscar buzz for Fassbender's performance, he is opting out of the strenuous awards-season campaigning. Fassbender also headlines Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," from a Cormac McCarthy original screenplay, which has its theatrical release October 25.

This article is related to: News, casting, CASTING WATCH, In The Works, Michael Fassbender


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.