Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Benedict Samuel
Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Genre: Drama, Western
Running Time: 110 minutes
The Duel starring Woody Harrelson and one of Australia's hottest exports, Liam Hemsworth, follows the story of a Texas Ranger (Hemsworth) as he investigates a series of unexplained deaths in a small town called Mt. Herman. When he uncovers a dark secret about the town's charismatic leader (Harrelson), the routine investigation soon turns personal.
The film's unconventional approach to a classic genre was one of the project's greatest appeals to Australian Director Kieran Darcy-Smith. Critically acclaimed for his 2012 drama Wish You Were Here, Darcy-Smith sees The Duel as a 'mystery western" but adds, even that is not an all-encompassing description. 'There's nothing traditional about it and I love that. The pacing was intriguing - there's a very real and raw violence and momentum to the second half of the movie that I think will catch people by surprise. It's a slow burn initially…. but with an explosive ending," he explains.
The Duel is anchored by the intense relationship between mesmerising preacher Abraham and Texas Ranger David. Darcy-Smith said 'Casting the main actors was such a critical element of getting this movie right for me, and we were so very lucky to land the actors that we actually wanted. Especially Woody and Liam, because the movie so hinges upon their relationship."
Woody Harrelson's rare mix of intensity and charisma consistently surprises and delights audiences and critics alike. Liam Hemsworth has a quiet intensity that transcends the big screen, demonstrating versatility and skill in a range of performances. 'Woody really got Abraham's charisma, his duality – he is both a friend and foe to David at the beginning. And Woody played Abraham's paradoxical nature with a chilling naturalism. Liam has that iconic Eastwood silent type quality. He's handsome, he's laconic, he's strong, he's open, he brought all those qualities to that role and personally I think it's the best thing he's done," adds Producer David Hoberman.
Hemsworth was most recently seen in Roland Emmerich's Independence Day: Resurgence, starring opposite Jeff Goldblum & Bill Pullman. He eagerly looks forward to more film work with quality actors and directors. He says, 'I love acting and I love movies. At the moment, I'm just trying to find people who are doing something different and meet people who are as passionate as I am. I have learned the majority of what I know on set, working. You learn from watching people with experience."