Cannes: Matthias Schoenaerts to Play Bomb Disposal Expert in 'Wildlands,' Tom Hardy Producing

Matthias Schoenaerts
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Matthias Schoenaerts

From Berlinale-winning writer/director Kim Mordaunt, the film is set against the explosive aftermath of Angola’s long running wars of independence.

Matthias Schoenaerts (The Mustang, The Danish Girl) is set play a bomb disposal specialist in Wildlands, directed by Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket, Bomb Harvest).

Inspired by Mordaunt’s 10-year relationship with the bomb disposal world in Asia and Africa, Wildlands is based on the screenplay by Mordaunt and John Collee (Hotel Mumbai, Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World) and will be filmed on location in Africa.

Wildlands was developed by Red Lamp Films with the assistance of Screen Australia. Tom Hardy and Dean Baker of Hardy Son & Baker (Taboo, A Christmas Carol) will produce together with Mordaunt’s producing partner Sylvia Wilczynski (The Rocket, Bomb Harvest) through Red Lamp Films. HanWay Films has picked up worldwide sales rights and will commence sales at the upcoming Cannes Virtual Market.

On the heels of his dismissal from UN forces following a failed mission in Afghanistan, Richard Thomas (Schoenaerts), a jaded bomb disposal specialist with a penchant for recklessness, gets a final shot at redemption when he’s sent to Angola, Africa — one of the most heavily mined lands in the world. With a destructive monsoon looming, Richard is under pressure to make a remote village safe for civilians, but faces unfamiliar territory when confronted with his unexpected new team. 

Writer-director Mordaunt’s critically acclaimed debut drama The Rocket won over 45 awards, including three at the Berlin Film Festival (including best debut feature and the Crystal Bear). Over the years, he’s spent significant time with the real-life bomb-disposal teams in Angola. 

"In our divided times, Wildlands is a story that taps deeply into the zeitgeist; now more than ever we need stories that show men and women, black and white, nature and technology, working together and moving forward," said Mordaunt. "The riveting Matthias Schoenaerts, alongside ten bold and dynamic women and their whimsical rats, are going to light up the screen."

Schoenaerts is represented CAA and UBBA. Mordaunt is represented by The Gersh Agency and RGM Artists.