Judy Davis and Billy Connolly will star alongside Colin Friels, Wendy Hughes, John Howard and Billie Brown in Australian romantic comedy The Man Who Sued God, which begins its nine-week shoot on January 29.

The Sydney-based Davis is more often seen in Hollywood films than Australian ones, her last being Children Of The Revolution in 1995.

Mark Joffe is directing the Don Watson script, based on an original idea by Patrick McCarville, while Ben Gannon produces. Icon Entertainment International is handling overseas sales and Buena Vista International will release the film locally. Finance has been provided by the Australian Film Finance Corporation, the New South Wales Film and Television Office and the Premium Movie Partnership pay-TV outfit.

The story centres on a man who decides to sue god after his fishing boat is destroyed by a bolt of lighting. It is being shot in Sydney and Bermagui on the south coast of New South Wales.

Gannon and Joffe have been developing the project for over 10 years. The cinematographer is Australia's Peter James, who shot Meet The Parents.