Tom Bateman and Tilda Cobham-Hervey Cast in Darren Ashton’s ‘Little Bird’

Darren Ashton’s flying team is being assembled to soar! Tom Bateman and Tilda Cobham-Hervey have joined the cast of the romantic comedy ‘Little Bird.’ Ashton is helming the feature film with a screenplay by Harry Cripps and Hannah Reilly, based on the true story of Nancy Bird Walton. Backed by Northern Pictures, the principal photography for the movie will be carried out in Australia.

‘Little Bird’ will tell a charming and inspiring story of Nancy Bird Walton, a young woman defying the odds to pursue her dreams. Despite facing the challenges of a humble upbringing, she is a beacon of determination and resilience and strives to make a mark in aviation. When she crosses paths with a legendary pilot past his prime, an unexpected partnership is formed between the two, making them one of Australia’s most extraordinary flying teams. Taking place in the early days of flying in Australia during the 1930s, the movie promises a celebration of courage, friendship, and the boundless possibilities that come with chasing one’s passions.

Bateman is a British actor who plays Matt Pierce in Peacock’s ‘Based on a True Story.’ His recent credits include Clive Richardson in Sky’s ‘Funny Woman’ and Chris Jewell in Ron Howard’s ‘Thirteen Lives.’ The actor also portrayed Bouc in the Agatha Christie adaptation ‘Death on the Nile’ and David in Netflix’s ‘Behind Her Eyes.’ He will appear as Rory in ‘Kid Snow,’ which is scheduled to be released on June 11, 2024.

Cobham-Hervey is an Australian actress who has captivated audiences with her performance as Agnes Hart in Prime Video’s ‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart.’ The actress portrayed Helen Reddy in ‘I Am Woman’ and Mia Rose in ‘Flinch.’ Her upcoming projects include ‘Apple Cider Vinegar’ and ‘Young Woman and the Sea.’

Ashton is best known for his light-hearted comedies. The director recently helmed several episodes of ‘Hardball,’ ‘Spreadsheet,’ ‘The Wrong Girl,’ and ‘Here Come the Habibs!’ He is also directing the upcoming Ben Miller-starrer TV show, ‘Austin.’ In 2022, Screen Australia selected Ashton’s ‘Little Bird’ to receive production funding.

When talking about the inspirations for the project, Ashton said, “There’s Nancy’s love of flying and her dream to get airborne no matter what, the danger and romance of flying in canvas-covered biplanes, as well as the romantic Australian landscape.” Nancy was one of the first pupils of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, the first man to fly across the mid-Pacific. After getting her license at the age of 19, she became the first woman to earn a living by flying. She bought her own plane and helped in charitable missions such as flying a medical service to outback New South Wales, earning herself the nickname, the Angel of the Outback.

The movie is the first feature of Northern Pictures and receives investment from the state government agency Screen NSW and KOJO. “The beautiful thing about this film is that she is not a household name,” added Joe Weatherson, a Northern Pictures producer. Nancy is expected to become famous as the new Western Sydney Airport, which is under construction, will be named after her.

Australia, especially the state of Queensland, is increasingly becoming a popular hub for entertainment production, with both Hollywood and domestic projects finding fitting backdrops and infrastructure in the region. There are several intriguing projects which will begin filming in Australia soon. A24’s ‘Bring Her Back’ is a horror movie that begins shooting in the Land Down Under in June. Nicole Kidman’s Prime Video drama ‘Things I Know to Be True’ is also slated to begin shooting in the country in June. The highly-anticipated ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ reboot is expected to begin filming in Australia later this year.

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