Colm Feore snagged for Calgary-shot sci-fi thriller Painkillers
Acclaimed character actor Colm Feore is among the cast confirmed for an independent science-fiction thriller set to start shooting in Calgary and Drumheller later this month.
Painkillers, which will also star Calgary-born actress Erica Durance and Battlestar Galactica’s Tahmoh Penikett, will be shot over a 15-day period using a strong contingent of Alberta cast and crew, said Calgary-based producer Andrew Ferns.
Feore, recently seen in shows such as Revolution and The Borgias, will play mysterious psychologist Dr. Troutman in the film.
It’s the story of a group of soldiers confined to a remote reha- bilitation facility with only faint memories of an Afghanistan mission that “went horribly awry.”
“It’s an absolute coup for us,” said Ferns about Feore. “We were so excited that he was available. It’s on a very compressed scale, we get him for five days in a row and that’s all we could get. Scheduling is always a challenge, it’s one of a continual moving pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. But, yeah, we were absolutely thrilled that we were able to get him on board.”
A renowned stage actor for his work at the Stratford Festival and for playing the lead in 1993’s Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Feore has also had a busy schedule in Hollywood blockbusters.
Upcoming appearances include roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Filming for Painkillers is scheduled to begin Jan. 20. A decommissioned Carewest facility in Bridgeland will sub in for the creepy remote hospital.
Drumheller will be used for scenes involving Afghanistan, Ferns said.
Penikett stars as Maj. John Cafferty, a soldier who awakens in Dr. Troutman’s strange hospital. He is told that he and his fellow soldiers are suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder due to their activities in Afghanistan.
Cafferty only has vague memories of the military campaign and begins to suspect something is amiss with the facility.
“We are definitely blending genres, but it has its feet very much in a science-fiction, psychological thriller,” Ferns says. “It’s a very claustrophobic and disorienting tone and theme with our visuals and shooting style. At root, being ... a mercenary, he’s a man just trying to get home to his family and feels very disconnected in the world.”
Lesley Ann Brandt, Julia Voth and Calgary actors Tom Carey, Roger LeBlanc and Travis Friesen also star. Painkillers was written by Jason Groce, Kirk Roos and Peter Winther.
Winther, whose past credits as a producer include blockbusters such as Independence Day and The Patriot, is also directing the film.