Benalla and some of its residents are set to feature in the filming of the latest Ned Kelly movie starring Russell Crowe.
The Benalla Ensign has learned that several key outdoor location scenes will be filmed in Kelly’s former backyard near Wangaratta and Benalla and the film’s casting agents are keen to hear from locals wanting to act alongside the international cast.
The True History of the Gang, which is based on Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name, has been described as a ‘‘gothic western for our times’’ and as a ‘‘bold, uncompromising film about one of the world’s greatest outlaws and the colonial badlands from which he rose’’.
When the film was first announced last year there was fierce debate about the location for shooting with reports that countryside around Clunes, near Ballarat and where much of the Heath Ledger Kelly movie was filmed, would feature rather than in the north east, but that now seems resolved.
Wangaratta mayor Ken Clarke said the rural city had been contacted about location filming taking place here, but he had received few details as yet.
‘‘We’re very happy to see at least some of the filming will take place around Wangaratta and Glenrowan,’’ Cr Clarke said.
‘‘It complements what we are investigating about developing an interpretative centre at Glenrowan to tell the Kelly story.’’
He said he had not ruled himself out of auditioning for a role, maybe as an ‘‘old trooper or tavern keeper’’.
‘‘Although I think I would be in my element as Judge Redmond Barry,’’ Cr Clarke said.
Barrett Casting contacted the Wangaratta Chronicle to put a call-out for actors from the local area to come forward.
They are looking for locals for small roles and extras for the film including:
●Men 25 to 65 years with interesting, weathered faces.
●Kids (boys and girls) aged three to 18 years. Very interested in families, especially those with lots of kids.
●A real blacksmith, male, 35 to 60 years.
No acting experience is necessary and shooting will take place before the end of the year.
Email one photo asap (a snapshot is fine) with your name, age, location and contact details to: email@example.com or phone Kelly on (02)96991377.
The film will also feature George MacKay (Captain Fantastic, Pride) as Ned Kelly, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men, Tolkien) and Essie Davis (Game of Thrones).
The True History of the Kelly Gang is produced by Liz Watts from Porchlight Films, Hal Vogel from Daybreak Pictures, and Romulus Entertainment’s Brad Feinstein.
Peter Carey, David Aukin from Daybreak, Vincent Sheehan from Porchlight and Joseph F. Ingrassia from Romulus will serve as executive producers.
The film was developed in collaboration with Film4, Screen Australia and Film Victoria.
It is financed by Romulus Entertainment and has received major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and Film4.