Geoff Murphy is back on home soil to direct the thriller Spooked, his first New Zealand film since leaving for LA 15 years ago. Don Reynolds and Merata Mita, both of whom he worked with on Kiwi films during the 1980s, are two of the film's producers.

Spooked goes into production on Sept 21 with Cliff Curtis (Training Day, Traffik, Whale Rider) in the lead role of a television journalist who becomes entwined in a whirlwind of intrigue, corruption and violent harassment.

Spooked is also written by Murphy and is based on some of the material in Ian Wishart's book The Paradise Conspiracy, which was inspired by the true events surrounding the mysterious death of a young Auckland man who unwittingly bought highly sensitive international banking records during a second-hand computer deal.

The film is being made by Silverscreen Films/Ora Digital in association with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Capital Pictures and New Zealand On Air. The other producers are Geoff Dixon, Reynolds' partner in the recently formed Silverscreen Films, and Murphy himself. The executive producers are Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin, who have just formed Capital Pictures in Auckland and expect to make further investments in film alongside the NZFC.

NZFC chief executive Ruth Harley said Murphy's four New Zealand features of the eighties were iconic classics in the country's film history, and his 10 Hollywood features of the nineties had seen him working with top actors and collaborators. They included Young Guns II and Under Siege II.