George MacKay, Essie Davis, Nicholas Hoult & Russell Crowe to tell the True History Of The Kelly Gang
Renowned director Justin Kurzel (Assassin’s Creed, Macbeth, Snowtown) will direct the film, from a screenplay by Shaun Grant (Berlin Syndrome, Snowtown), based on Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same title, about notorious bushranger Ned Kelly (MacKay), one of the world’s greatest outlaws, and the colonial badlands from which he rose.
The cast will include George MacKay (Captain Fantastic, Pride), Academy Award Winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men) and Essie Davis (The Babadook). They will be joined by Thomasin McKenzie (My Abandonment, The Hobbit), Sean Keenan (Strangerland, Lockie Leonard), Harry Greenwood (Hacksaw Ridge) and Earl Cave (Born to Kill).
Porchlight Films and Daybreak Pictures will produce while Memento Films International joins Film4 and Screen Australia as co-financiers and will handle foreign sales.
Filming will take place on location in Victoria, Australia in July. Producers are Liz Watts from Porchlight Films, Hal Vogel from Daybreak Pictures and Justin Kurzel who developed the film with Film4, Screen Australia and Film Victoria. Paul Ranford has also joined the producing team.
Ripped from the pages of Peter Carey’s Man Booker prize winning novel True History Of The Kelly Gang, this thrilling, bold adaptation charts the rise and fall of Australia’s original Mad Max; a coming of age tale about a defiant rebel sworn to wreak vengeance and havoc on the British Empire.
Set against the badlands of colonial Australia where the English rule with a bloody fist and the Irish endure, Ned Kelly (George MacKay) discovers he comes from a line of Irish rebels called the Sons of Sieve, an uncompromising army of cross dressing bandits immortalised for terrorising their oppressors back in Ireland.
Nurtured by the notorious bushranger Harry Power (Russell Crowe) and fuelled by the unfair arrest of his mother, Ned Kelly recruits a wild bunch of warriors to plot one of the most audacious attacks of anarchy and rebellion the country has ever seen.
Director Justin Kurzel says: "There has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring True History Of The Kelly Gang to screen and I feel privileged to be able to film this audacious and original screenplay. I have been blessed to have an inspiring cast and to work with such exciting and fresh collaborators. I look forward to making the film with the same free spirit Peter Carey has in the writing of this extraordinary book."