The Hunter

April 6th 2012
  • Drama,
  • R,
  • 87 min,
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Cast: Willem Dafoe, Frances O'Connor, Sam Neill, Sullivan Stapleton, Jacek Koman, Callan Mulvey, Dan Wyllie, Maia Thomas, Morgana Davies, Jamie Timony, John Brumpton, Dan Spielman, Finn Woodlock
  • Director: Daniel Nettheim
  • Writers: Alice Addison, Wain Fimeri, Julia Leigh
  • Producer: Vincent Sheehan
  • Executive Producers: Anita Sheehan, Liz Watts, Paul Wiegard
  • Art Direction: Amanda Sallybanks
  • Casting: Jane Norris
  • Costume Design: Emily Seresin
  • D.O.P.: Robert Humphreys
  • Editor: Roland Gallois
  • Makeup: Chiara Tripodi
  • Musics: Andrew Lancaster, Michael Lira, Matteo Zingales
  • Production Design: Steven Jones-Evans
  • Set Decoration: Christopher Bruce


THE HUNTER is the story of Martin, a skilled and ruthless mercenary sent into the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for a tiger believed to be extinct. Hired by an anonymous company that wants the tiger’s genetic material, Martin arrives in Tasmania posing as a scientist.

He proceeds to set up base camp at a broken-down farmhouse, where he stays with a family whose father has gone missing. Usually a loner, Martin becomes increasingly close to the family; however, as his attachment to the family grows, Martin is led down a path of unforeseen dangers, complicating his deadly mission.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Tasmania, Australia
  • MPAA Warning: Language and brief violence
  • Production Companies: Screen Australia, Porchlight Films, Fulcrum Media Finance, Madman Entertainment
  • Production Schedule: 26 October 2010 - January 2011

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2011 Guide Anaylsis: "The demise of the Tasmanian Tiger is one of the grimmest blights on the modern day conservation record. Hunted to extinction early last century, hundreds of unconfirmed sightings of these really quite beautiful looking marsupial predators have emerged in the decades since but none of them have been conclusive. Back in the 80's billionaire Ted Turner offered a $100,000 reward for evidence of the creature's continued existence, while others have offered over a million for it being captured alive - none have been able to claim it.

Now comes a psychological thriller film adaptation of Julia Leigh's first novel from 1999 which scored some varied reaction upon its release. With the island portrayed as a rundown rural hinterland and practically every Tasmanian character in the novel as staunch anti-environmental rednecks, it comes as no surprise that people from that Australian state found it rather insulting.

Others didn't like the central conceit of the novel, that the titular man known only as 'M' (called 'Martin' in the film) doesn't undergo some 'back to nature' emotional epiphany or redemption for his obviously troubled past - instead he remains a distant figure, a hard-boiled agent efficient at his job who can pull off the veneer of the everyman with chilling ease, even during his 'surrogate father figure' act with the family's two children as their real father has disappeared and their mother lies in a drug-induced stupor.

This $6.3 million film adaptation began shooting on location in Tasmania in November under the helm of Daniel Nettheim. Nettheim directed the 1999 Aussie indie rom-com "Angst", a film on which I was an extra funnily enough (you can see the back of my head for all of a fraction of a second in one shot), and has since gone on to direct a lot of impressive local television series including "Spirited," "Rush," "All Saints," "White Collar Blue" and "The Secret Life of Us". He's also surrounded by some strong talent including cinematographer Bob Humphreys ("Somersault," "Triangle"), producer Vincent Sheehan ("Animal Kingdom") and scribe Alice Addison ("The Silence").

Few films have used Tasmania as a locale, the most famous being the award-winning "The Tale of Ruby Rose" along with recent horrendous horror film "Dying Breed", and the more impressive period tales "The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce" and "Van Diemen's Land". Yet "The Hunter" has the potential to break through in a way those earlier films didn't thanks to the help of an impressive cast, source material which was taught in many Australian schools, and some strong distribution and production companies backing it."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 6 October 2011: Australia
  • 25 January 2012: Sweden
  • 4 February 2012: Japan
  • 22 March 2012: New Zealand