Julia Garner Leads New Outback Thriller Movie, The Royal Hotel

By Rufus Punt | 31st July 2023
Julia Garner & Jessica Henwick - the royal hotel

Here at The Handbook, we love a good thriller. We can’t get enough of the twisty, turny narratives that keep you guessing, which is why we’re excited about The Royal Hotel. It’s an intriguing and mysterious new film starring Ozark and Inventing Anna   Julia Garner, alongside Jessica Henwick (Game of Thrones, Glass Onion). The duo plays two best friends who are on a backpacking trip across Australia, and both get a job working at a bar to earn cash- but things start taking a sinister turn.

What’s The Royal Hotel About?

Garner, who won three back-to-back Emmys for her portrayal of foul-mouthed Ruth Langmore in Ozark, plays the lead role of Hanna. Attracted by the allure of Australia, she sets off with her long-time friend Liv (Henwick) to backpack across the scenic but intimidating outback. Things go pretty smoothly as the pair find a new sense of freedom, but unfortunately, money isn’t infinite, and they soon find they are in need of some sort of income.

Finding a small town, they both get jobs working at a bar in the outback with the illustrious name The Royal Hotel. Its owner is Billy, who’s played by Lord of the Rings and The Matrix star Hugo Weaving. Also introducing himself is a bar regular Matty (Toby Wallace), and they’re joined by other town residents.

the royal hotel

It seems like a place the two could get used to, but both Hanna and Liv find themselves invited to take part in the town’s local drinking culture and traditions. The bar, and the town in general, is male-dominated, and the bar they’ve just signed up to has something of a reputation for hiring female staff that don’t stick around for long.

The drinking begins to get overwhelming, and jokes and behaviour become increasingly more inappropriate and threatening.

Both women fall into the trap of being completely isolated from the rest of the world and are both manipulated, and the town members begin playing mind games with them. Soon, Hanna and Liv find they’ve got no way out, and might even be in mortal danger.

What Else Do We Know?

There’s currently no trailer for the film, but a first look was recently released that shows the duo in backpacking gear but looking concerned about their situation.

Is There A Release Date?

A release date has been set for sometime later this year, with a premiere in September at the Toronto Film Festival. Of course, with the ongoing strikes, this prospective release date could be pushed back.

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