Writer-director Kitty Green is collaborating again with “The Assistant” lead star Julia Garner for the upcoming social thriller “The Royal Hotel,” which will now be distributed by Neon in the U.S.
“The Royal Hotel” follows Hanna (Garner) and her best friend Liv (Jessica Henwick) as they backpack throughout Australia. However, after running out of money, Liv convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called The Royal Hotel in a remote Outback mining town. The bar owner Billy (Hugo Weaving) and a group of local patrons introduce the women to Down Under drinking culture, but things take a different turn once their behavior begins to cross a line.
Per the official synopsis, “Liv and Hanna find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control.”
Neon landed the North American rights to the film, with HanWay and Cross City Films handling international sales.
Oscar Redding co-wrote the screenplay with director Green. The film is Green’s sophomore narrative feature after her 2019 breakout “The Assistant,” which premiered at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival and earned lead star Garner an Independent Spirit Award nomination. The #MeToo film centered on a young assistant to an abusive studio executive who was largely modeled on Harvey Weinstein.
Garner most recently stars as Ruth in the Netflix series “Ozark,” which rolls out its final set of episodes April 29 on the streaming platform.
“The Royal Hotel” also marks another reunion of sorts, with “Matrix Resurrections” breakout Henwick starring opposite “Matrix” alum Weaving. The Australia-set film is produced by See-Saw Films, the studio most recently behind the Oscar-winning “The Power of the Dog.”
“We are very happy to be working with Neon again on the release of ‘The Royal Hotel,'” See-Saw producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning said in a press statement. “Neon have an undeniable history of supporting both emerging and established filmmakers, and putting together innovative and provocative campaigns. We know that they are the right home to bring this film to US theaters.”
The film is set to begin shooting this summer in Green’s native Australia.