“After sickness, numerous injuries, the dismissal of its director, a car crash involving a lead actor, bad weather and rumours of a curse, the movie River Queen is finally on track for a New Zealand world premiere. Distributor Twentieth Century Fox announced the premiere would take place in Wanganui on January 24 next year, … Samantha Morton and Kiefer Sutherland will come back to Wanganui for the premiere.
Snippets of the troubled film, billed as the most ambitious New Zealand story ever attempted, … displayed the slick, high production values of an American blockbuster … the final cost of the film came in over its $23 million budget.
The film, a 19th century drama about a woman’s search for her lost son, is set in the 1860s New Zealand wars.
… Continuous rain in the first week [of filming] saw river levels rise and temperatures drop, causing sickness among cast and crew …
… Morton clashed with director Vincent Ward and also fell ill, causing her to remain off-set for six weeks. Main actor Cliff Curtis also lost control of his SUV while driving to the River Queen set, hitting a parked car and coming to rest in the lounge of a house in Otaki.
Problems continued when Ward was sacked in October, but was later reinstated … in time to oversee the final scenes and post-production …, he said, ‘The main thing for me is that she’s very excited about the movie.’ …
The film gets its first international exposure at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, where it hopes to attract the attention of North American critics and distributors.
Ward, was philosophical about all the troubles that have plagued production, ‘That’s part of the legacy of Apocalypse Now and that’s part of the legacy of this film.’ ”
News that Kiefer’s latest film role in ‘River Queen’ will make it to the screen after being hounded by problems.