Zachary Levi to Headline XYZ Films’ Rock-Climbing Action Thriller FREE FALL


Film set to shoot in New Zealand later this year

XYZ Films has set Zachary Levi to headline the rock-climbing action thriller FREE FALL, with Zoë Bell set to direct. The script was written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker with Tom Hern and Nua Finau of Tavake producing. Navid McIlhargey and Erik Olsen will executive produce alongside, Finegan, Parker and Levi. The film is set for production later this year in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Free Fall tells the story of a father’s attempt to reconcile with his estranged daughter in New Zealand on a rock-climbing trip that turns deadly as an accident leaves them stranded hundreds of feet in the air. As a storm sets in, the two must fight against the elements and terrifying heights in order to survive.

Levi is an accomplished American actor and singer, recognized for his charismatic performances across film, television, and theater. Best known for his portrayal of the lovable geek-turned-superhero in the hit TV series Chuck, Levi has captured audiences worldwide with his charm and versatility. Notable recent credits include the title character in SHAZAM in the DC Extended Universe films, which has grossed over $500M across two films, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. He plays the title role in Sony’s upcoming HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON which releases wide in August of this year.

The project is the second recent collaboration between Tavake and XYZ, who are in post-production on Madam, a half-hour dramedy series set within New Zealand’s legal sex work industry. The show stars Rachel Griffiths and Martin Henderson. 

Zoë Bell is an award-winning actor, stunt coordinator and director. Born in New Zealand, Zoë began her career working on XENA and then alongside Quentin Tarantino as a stunt woman and coordinator, a decades-long relationship that has proven special and profound. Zoë has worked on THOR: RAGNAROK, IRON MAN 3, THE HATEFUL EIGHT, DJANGO UNCHAINED, KILL BILL, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, and most recently was the stunt coordinator for ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, and Taika Waititi’s TIME BANDITS, where she also served as 2nd unit director.

Finegan and Parker have collaborated on numerous spec sales in a range of genres over the years, including high-concept action and family films, reteaming on Free Fall in a blend of their individual styles. Parker is the author of the popular middle grade book Troublemakers, which has a sequel due out in 2024. Finegan is developing and executive producing the spy thriller series Unknown at Netflix with Dark Castle, Liam Neeson, Jaume Collet-Serra, Karl Gajdusek, Speed Weed, and Free Fall collaborator Erik Olsen executive producing.

“This script is the perfect combo of heartfelt and heart stopping. Between the producing team, the cast and the NZ crews, words don’t do justice to how thrilled I am to be bringing this film home! Also, my Dad’s there so…” said Zoë Bell.

“We’re very excited to embark on this film with so many longtime friends: Sean wrote the script after working with us as an executive on the Warner Bros lot. And that’s where we met Zac while he was shooting Chuck on Stage 4 and befriended Zoë after seeing her brilliant stunt work in Kill Bill,” said producers McIlhargey and Olsen.

Hern and Finau had this to add, “We are stoked to be teaming up with the guys at XYZ again to help bring Zoë Bell’s feature debut to the world. Zoë’s an incredible talent and an iconic Kiwi. The script sets the table not only for her renowned action direction chops, but also plenty of heart and humanity.”

Bell is repped by CAA and Dash Aiken & Rock Shaink of Romark Entertainment.  Levi is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and McKuin Frankel Whitehead. Finegan is repped by Verve, Anonymous Content and attorney Lawrence Kopeikin. Hern and Finau are repped by Kaplan/Perrone. Parker is repped by attorney Lawrence Kopeikin. McIlhargey and Olsen are repped by Tifanie Acosta at Entertainment Law Partners. 

Current titles from the XYZ Films studio include Sundance title SKYWALKERS: A LOVE STORY, which sold to Netflix and BLACKBERRY starring Gotham and Independent Spirit-award nominee Glenn Howerton, which was released by IFC Films, Atom Egoyan’s TIFF selection SEVEN VEILS starring Amanda Seyfried, ASH starring Eiza González and Aaron Paul and directed by Flying Lotus, recent TIFF acquisition BACKSPOT starring Devery Jacobs and Evan Rachel Wood, the Netflix Original HAVOC, directed by Gareth Evans and starring Tom Hardy and Forrest Whitaker and DANIELA FOREVER directed by Nacho Vigalondo and starring Henry Golding and Beatrice Grannó. Other recent releases include the Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead film SOMETHING IN THE DIRT which premiered at Sundance 2022. The company’s classic titles include THE RAID franchise, 2017 Sundance winner I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic revenge thriller MANDY, and Karyn Kusama’s THE INVITATION.

About XYZ Films:  

XYZ Films is an independent studio whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. As a producer, financier, and distributor, the company is uniquely suited to identify talented filmmakers and bring their stories to life. XYZ recently expanded into talent management, working with a global roster of filmmakers. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian.

About Tavake:

The Tavake bird often leads a vaka (canoe) home, or to new horizons. To the company, the Tavake represents an angel, a friend, a guide.’

Tavake is an award-winning Production company based in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa, New Zealand. Tavake is headed up by writer/producers Tom Hern (The Dark Horse, Shadow in the Cloud, The Panthers) and Halaifonua (Nua) Finau (“The Panthers,” Red White and Brass). Their first limited series, “The Panthers”, created by Finau and Hern, premiered at TIFF in 2021 and broke streaming records in its home territory. The company is currently in post on “Madam,” a 10 x part half hour drama/comedy series. Madam is set within the legal sex work industry in New Zealand, stars Rachel Griffiths, Martin Henderson and Rima Te Wiata, and is being distributed by Fifth Season.

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