ASCENDANT aka RISING WOLF (2021) Reviews and overview


‘120 floors. 4 walls. 1 secret trapped inside.’

Ascendant is a 2021 Australian science fiction thriller about a young female environmentalist who wakes up trapped and kidnapped. Worse, she’s in the elevator of a super high-rise building and completely at the mercy of her tormentors. Also known as Rising Wolf

Directed by Antaine Furlong [as Anthony Furlong] (short: Emergence) from a screenplay co-written with Kieron Holland, the movie stars Charlotte Best, Jonny Pasvolsky, Andrew Jack and Susan Prior.


Kidnapped and held hostage in a high-speed elevator in a 120-floor building in Shanghai, Aria Wolf has no memory of her past, who her captors are, or what they want from her. Pushed to her limits, she begins to realise she has incredible powers within, kept secret to protect her and her family. Now, unlocking these powers is her only chance to save both herself and her father.


“Furlong and co-writer Kieron Holland have certainly delivered an unconventional story with many unanswered questions, but in a cinematic world that is built on repetition, Ascendant rises above the usual to deliver a film unique, if not a little confusing at times.” Matt’s Movie Reviews

“Best acquits herself well, doing great work, even when it’s just her, all alone in an elevator, fighting for her life. Furlong and co-writer Kieron Holland keep the thing trundling along at a healthy pace, but it gets sillier with every revelation, its ambition let down by cheap CGI and a convoluted ending.” Starburst


Ascendant will be released in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on April 8th 2021.

Samuel Goldwyn Films announced on April 7th 2021 that the company has acquired Worldwide Rights (excluding Australia and New Zealand) and will release Ascendant as Rising Wolf.

“As we prepare for a very wide theatrical release across Australian and New Zealand cinemas on 8 April, to be partnering with someone like Samuel Goldwyn in such key markets as the US, UK, Europe and Asia is a huge vote of confidence in the movie. It also represents a big boost for Australian made movies finding a larger audience overseas which is great outcome for the whole industry. It clearly demonstrates that Australian talent can write and produce world-building stories and deliver VFX on a massive scale,” says director/producer/writer Antaine Furlong.

“We at Goldwyn are honoured to be working with emerging talent from around the world. Antaine Furlong has created an exciting new thriller that audiences will thoroughly enjoy,” says Miles Fineburg of Samuel Goldwyn Films.


Cast and characters:

Charlotte Best … Aria Wolf
Jonny Pasvolsky … Richard Wolf
Andrew Jack … Doctor Thompson
Susan Prior … Barbara Wolf
Karelina Clarke … Young Zara
Tahlia Sturzaker … Young Aria
Elsa Cocquerel … Chrissy
Lily Stewart … Zara Wolf
Alex Menglet … Yaroslav
George Burgess … Sergey
Yoji Tatsuta … Construction Worker
John Harding … Nikolay
Justin Cotta … Anton
Kelsey Skinner … Olivia
Leonard Sun … Security Guard

Filming locations:

Fox Studios, Moore Park, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Working title:

Rising Wolf

Trailer 1:

Trailer 2:


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