Beloved Australian actress Rose Byrne is set to star in a new film, centering around New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who brought you The Truman Show), the film, titled They Are Us, will focus on the aftermath of the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack on New Zealand’s Muslim community. This tragic event in New Zealand’s national history saw a lone gunman kill 51 people and injure 40 during Friday Prayer at a mosque on the 15th March 2019.
Following the incident, Ardern was lauded around the world for handling the devastating attack with compassion and grace. She was a beacon of light during this extremely distressing time, reminding people around the world what it means to be a true leader.
The title of the film comes from the speech made by Ardern, where she condemned racism in New Zealand and stood in solidarity with the Muslim community. The script has been developed in consultation with several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy.
“They Are Us is not so much about the attack but the response to the attack [and] how an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support,” Niccol told Deadline.
“The film addresses our common humanity, which is why I think it will speak to people around the world. It is an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.”
Glen Basner of FilmNation Entertainment will be shopping the project to international buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Speaking about the film, he said, “We are thrilled to bring to market this inspiring story about the positive impact, even in the darkest of moments, a strong leader can have on their constituents’ lives when they work from a place of compassion, love and an unwavering conviction to do what is right.”
Rose Byrne has been very busy recently, starring in FX’s limited series Mrs. America where she portrayed journalist and activist Gloria Steinem. This film will be another impressive accolade to add to her ever-growing repertoire.