The Australian thriller, which appears to be set in some kind of post-apocalyptic landscape, tells of what unfolds when two drifters (played by Efron and director Anthony Hayes) stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found. A couple of problems: It’s in the unforgiving desert and it’s too big and buried to simply pull out by hand. With immense wealth in their eyes, they decide that one of them (Efron) will remain with the gold, while the other heads off to secure the necessary equipment. Efron’s character, simply credited as Man One, finds himself battling the harsh desert elements, wild animals, a mysterious intruder (Susie Porter, Ladies in Black, The Second), and his own shaky psyche.
This marks the second feature as director for actor Hayes (his acting credits include Animal Kingdom, The Light Between Oceans, and War Machine), following 2008 kitchen-sink drama Ten Empty. Hayes also penned the screenplay with Polly Smith, whose previous credits include costume department roles in films such as Rogue, Knowing and Killer Elite.
The picture was developed and financed with the assistance of the South Australian Film Corporation. Madman Entertainment are handling theatrical distribution for Australia and New Zealand, with Altitude Film Sales handling global sales.
A tense-looking film here, with what appears to be an all-in, exhausting performance from Efron. Looking forward to it. Gold will premiere Australia Day on Aus streaming service Stan and will screen in select cinemas from 13 January.