Fear Is the Rider: Abbey Lee, Christopher Abbott to star in Australian Outback thriller

Deadline has broken the news that Abbey Lee (Old) and Christopher Abbott (Possessor) have signed on to star in the Australian Outback thriller Fear Is the Rider, which is coming to us from John Michael McDonagh, the BAFTA-nominated writer/director of the 2011 film The Guard. The Exchange is now presenting the project to potential international buyers at the virtual European Film Market. CAA Media Finance is handling the North American rights.

Described as a “chase thriller” that’s like “Duel meets Picnic at Hanging Rock“, Fear Is the Rider is an adaptation of a novel written by Wake in Fright author Kenneth Cook. Copies of the book can be purchased at THIS LINK. The film will follow

John Shaw (Abbott), a photojournalist who arrives in Australia trying to recover from his experiences reporting on the Vietnam War. After meeting a young woman (Lee) in a small-town bar, he decides to detour into the Outback to photograph cave paintings. Out there, under the baking sun, people can die within hours. But the elements are not the most hazardous thing in the bush, and Shaw and his mysterious companion soon find themselves caught up in an unrelenting fight for survival.

The Exchange’s Brian O’Shea had this to say about Fear Is the Rider:

We are truly thrilled to be working on John Michael McDonagh’s latest project. His incredible vision as a filmmaker coupled with the talent of Christopher Abbot and Abbey Lee will make this a standout genre project for our international buyers.”

McDonagh is producing Fear Is the Rider with Elizabeth Eves through their company House of Un-American Activities.

I haven’t read Cook’s novel, but I was sold on this project as soon as I saw that it takes place in the Australian Outback and draws comparisons to Duel. (A mixture that also brings to mind the 1981 film Road Games.) I’m sold on it. How does Fear Is the Rider sound to you? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.