Australian actors Russell Crowe and Travis Fimmel are set to return home next year to star in the latest adaptation of the story of famous bushranger Ned Kelly.
According to the Herald Sun, True History of the Kelly Gang is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Peter Carey. Carey will also be involved with the movie. South Australian director Justin Kurzel will take the helm and filming will begin in Victoria, Australia, beginning in March of next year.
Alongside Russell Crowe and Travis Fimmel, Australian actor Dacre Montgomery also joins the cast. Those who are fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things will know Montgomery as Billy Hargrove, Max’s stepbrother. Essie Davis (Game of Thrones) has also joined the cast. Alongside the local line up, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Sean Keenan (Strangerland), and Harry Greenwood (Hacksaw Ridge) join the cast in the upcoming movie. The Hollywood Reporter also lists Thomasin McKenzie (The Cul De Sac) and Nick Cave’s son, Earl Cave, as cast members. While there are plenty of Australian actors involved in True History of the Kelly Gang, it will be 25-year-old English actor George MacKay who takes the starring role of Ned Kelly. MacKay is best known for his roles in the movie Captain Fantastic and the TV series 11.22.63.
Director Justin Kursel revealed via Variety the reason why he decided to take on a new retelling of Ned Kelly.
“Peter Carey’s book, the True History of the Kelly Gang, always felt like the true spirit of Ned Kelly. Unsentimental, brutal, raw and visceral. His story is one of the great odysseys in history, and I feel excited to be bringing it to the screen with a fresh cinematic eye. This is a really unique and modern cast, and I am so proud to be working with such a talented ensemble of new faces and celebrated actors.”
While filming is set to start in Victoria, Australia, in March of next year, according to the Illawarra Mercury, there is no guarantee the movie will be shot on location in actual Kelly country. According to the Herald Sun, Kelly country is considered to include Beechworth, Chiltern, Jerilderie, Benalla, Beveridge, Euroa, and Glenrowan, all towns in Victoria. However, as the Illawarra Mercury points out, previous movies based on Ned Kelly have not been usually been filmed in these locations. A publicist involved with the movie could not reveal where the film was to be shot. However, the Hepburn Shire has been helping scout locations near Clunes for True History of the Kelly Gang. This location has previously been used for Heath Ledger’s 2002 movie on Ned Kelly.
The mayor of Wangaratta, Ken Clarke, whose territory includes Glenrowan, would like to see True History of the Kelly Gang shot in authentic Kelly country.
“We would certainly think that it can be filmed in the North East, with all the Kelly artefacts and the Kelly memorabilia. We’ve got Kelly’s grave at Greta, we’ve got Glenrowan of course, well the inn’s not there, but everything took place at Glenrowan.”
Along with this statement, CR Clarke is planning to contact Film Victoria in the hopes True History of the Kelly Gang will be shot on location in his shire.
True History of the Kelly Gang will be produced by Liz Watts (Porchlight Films), Hal Vogel (Daybreak Pictures), and Brad Feinstein (Romulus Entertainment), according to Variety. Alongside them, Peter Carey, David Aukin, Vincent Sheehan, and Joseph Ingrassia have joined as executive producers.
For actor Travis Fimmel, True History of the Kelly Gang is not his first dip into the history books. Not only did he star as the famous Viking Ragnar Lothbrok in History Channel’s Vikings, he will be involved in a new series that will delve into the story of Wyatt Earp and other “iconic sinners throughout history.”
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