Peter Facinelli stars in and co-directs the harrowing survival movie, a reflection of real-life tragedies that are all too common
Peter Facinelli plays a family man staring down death and destruction in his new film On Fire.
PEOPLE has the exclusive trailer for the action-packed survival movie (in theaters Sept. 29), which he directed and stars in. Its story, of a family fleeing a harrowing wildfire, is based on true events.
"With precious moments ticking by, [Facinelli's character] must flee with his son (Asher Angel) and pregnant wife (Fiona Dourif) if they have any hope of surviving the rapid forces of mother nature," reads the synopsis for the film.
The new trailer shows Facinelli, Angel and Dourif's characters experiencing a sequence of events that have become all too familiar to rural communities and families affected by wildfire worldwide. “Should we be worried?” asks Dourif's character.
A TV newscaster then announces the fast-approaching crisis — we hear that “the destruction is catastrophic” — as the family fireproofs their property and prepares for the worst. When the inferno begins to close in, they have no choice but to evacuate the area by car and try to escape the fast-spreading danger.
As Facinelli tells PEOPLE, the film “explores themes of faith, hope, and new beginnings” as it reflects increasingly urgent real-life events. “On Fire spotlights the growing threats of wildfires and climate change while telling a story of a family working and growing together to overcome insurmountable odds.”
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The Twilight star adds that it serves as a tribute “to the heroic efforts of firefighters and first responders” we glimpse on the news whenever such events occur. “It is a film meant to give pause and question as to how we can prevent and curb the tragic outbreaks of these fires that are far too prevalent in the news.”
Filmed and scheduled well before the Aug. 8 Lahaina, Hawaii wildfires that became the deadliest such event in the U.S. in decades, as well as the Washington state fires last week, the events that On Fire depicts remain tragically relevant.
Facinelli is mourning those real-life tragedies as communities continue to recover, he tells PEOPLE. “My heart is broken for the families affected by the tragic Hawaii fires and the recent fires in Washington state. I pray we can come together to find a solution.”
While Facinelli is best known as an actor on Fastlane and Nurse Jackie, he has directed the 2018 film Breaking & Exiting and 2020 film The Vanished, the latter of which he also co-wrote. On Fire is co-written by Lyon and Ron Peer, and costars Lance Henriksen, Ashlei Foushee and Glenn Morshower.
On Fire is in theaters Sept. 29.
SAG-AFTRA has approved an interim agreement for On Fire since the film is being released by Cineverse, an independent, non-AMPTP affiliated distributor. Under the terms, members “may work on these productions without being in violation of the strike order,” per the guild. The entire team of On Fire expresses their gratitude to SAG-AFTRA for allowing the cast to promote On Fire during this challenging time for the industry.
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