Deadline is exclusively reporting that Thomasin McKenzie is set to star as American ballet dancer Joy Womack in the upcoming biopic Joika.
Joika is set to chart Joy Womack’s intense training, which tested the limits of her dedication, determination, sacrifice and virtuosity, and how she was spurred on by the passions of first love. Womack (now twenty-six) went on to become the principal dancer with the Universal Ballet in Korea, then returned to America where she dances with the Boston Ballet. ‘Joika’ was the name Womack was given in Russia.
Joy Womack will be personally overseeing Thomasin McKenzie’s training and will act as the actresses double for the more demanding sequences.
Producer Tom Hern, released a statement saying:
We are delighted New Zealand is leading the way back to set during these challenging and extraordinary new times – and are even more pleased that Joika will be part of this first wave of greenlit films, post-crisis.
Embankment’s Tim Haslam added:
Joika is about unearthing and encouraging talent, and the sacrifices made to fulfill dreams. Put into Thomasin’s inspirational shoes, audience’s will experience every step of her journey to perfection.
Serving alongside Tom Hern as producer is Kiwi MKenzie, as well as Anonymous Content’s Paul Green, Paula Munoz and Laurie Ross, with Luke Rivett executive producing and the film set to be written and directed by James Napier Robertson.
The film is being scheduled to commence filming in New Zealand in early 2021.