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Māori Avatar actor Shane Rangi to direct first feature

Shane Rangi

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Los Angeles-- Fandomodo Films has optioned the rights to the feature film Taonga, which will be directed by Shane Rangi (of Ngāti Porou descent).

The film is based on Rangi’s life and focuses on the story of an indigenous Polynesian rugby star who becomes homeless before a violent encounter with law enforcement leaves him for dead.

Rangi is known for his acting and stunt work on major films including both Avatar films, Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The Wolverine (2013), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011), the Narnia franchise, as well as all three films in each of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings franchises. His work with James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic, Terminator, Aliens) on the Avatar films led to a long friendship and collaboration on the development of Taonga, which Cameron will executive produce.

The heart-wrenching story navigates the realities of homelessness and modern-day policing. With a story based on his own script, New Zealand-based Rangi ultimately takes the viewer on a journey through the humanity that exists in all of us.

Rangi will direct the film in 2024 with principal photography taking place in New Zealand. Casting will not commence until after the SAG strike concludes.

Producers include Shane Rangi, Zach Thomson (Finite Water), and Anthony Kaan. In addition to Cameron, Mikael Borglund of Beyond International (Deepsea Challenge 3D, Lantana, Poker Face), Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit, Logan, The Wolverine, Minority Report), Sandy Climan (The Aviator), Dominique Appleby (Trees, Captured: Awakening, The Bay), and McKenzie Van Dorne Rice (Finite Water) have joined the executive producing team.

“Shane’s unique Māori experience and life story will inspire millions,” said Anthony Kaan, CEO of Fandomodo Films. “This intimate story transcends cultural differences with universal truth.”

The film is being financed independently by Fandomodo Films.

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