The Water Diviner Novel Launch

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I’m excited to announce that The Water Diviner novel will be released in Australia on December 9.

Published by PanMacmillan, Australia, the novel is written by Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios and myself and is based on the original movie script by Andrew Knight and myself (Andrew Anastasios). The novel will also be available as an audiobook, published by our long-term friends at Bolinda.

Meaghan and Andrew in Istanbul

Meaghan and Andrew in Istanbul

In case the abnormally long, hyphenated name wasn’t a dead giveaway my wife Meaghan and I wrote the book together. Meaghan did initial research for the script and a number of other Gallipoli projects, and was an early reader who gave us helpful feedback and thoughts on the screenplay as it evolved. So she knows the script inside out, and is a hopeless Turkophile.  For anyone planning a trip there she has filed a great story on James Bond in Istanbul for Gourmet Traveller which you can read here, and another on Ottoman cuisine.

Andrew Knight and I like to think of the original script as our love letter to Turkey. With the film ( see the trailer here) Russell Crowe brings the story to life, while the book builds on that story in ways only the written word can.

The Water Diviner paperback and audiobook will be available from all your favourite bookstores and major booksellers from December 9. Hope you enjoy the read.

The Water Diviner film is due for release in Australia on Boxing Day, through EOne and Universal, produced by Hopscotch Features and Fear of God Films.

The Water Diviner poster is here.

Universal Pictures have just released the artwork for official The Water Diviner poster. You can have a peek on the the Universal twitter link here. The film is due out on Boxing Day in Australia.

If you missed the official trailer there is now a YouTube link with all the credits which you can see here. There has also been a bit of press about the official trailer in Deadline and the Dailymail in the UK, with some great stills taken from the trailer.

For everyone who has been asking there should be some news on release dates for The Water Diviner novel in the next week or so. When I know, you’ll know.

Official Trailer for The Water Diviner

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The official trailer for the film was released this morning on Australian TV, on Channel Seven’s “Sunrise” program as a world exclusive. Click here for a preview and be amongst the first to see – it looks stunning. Russell Crowe, Andrew Lesnie, Cinematographer, and Chris Kennedy, the Production Designer, have done an beautiful job in bringing the story to the screen.

The film is set for a cinema release in Australia on Boxing Day.

Young Melburnian on The Water Diviner

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There has been a bit of press this last week about Dylan Georgiades, a young Greek-Aussie from Melbourne, who plays Orhan in The Water Diviner. Dylan had a crash course in Turkish to play the role of a young boy from Constantinople and did a wonderful job.

Dylan from his IMDB page

Dylan from his IMDB page

For his first major film role he had to skip some school to travel all over Australia, spent a couple of weeks in Istanbul and work with Russell Crowe. Nice work if you can get it! We caught up in Istanbul a couple of times, and he presents as a terrific, level-headed young man with loads of charm. I don’t dare say anything else – he’s about to do his grading for his black belt in karate. καλή τύχη, Dylan.

Read more about Dylan’s experience on The Water Diviner in his own words, here and here.

Water Divining with Weinstein

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As le carpet rouge is rolled up and the champagne bottles are put out for recycling at Cannes there are few bits of Water Diviner related news that may have escaped your attention. It was hard to miss Turkish director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, winning the Palme d’Or for Winter Sleep – what’s the connection? Only that I love “Once Upon A Time in Anatolia”, his film that won the Grand Prix a couple of years ago. It was the first time I’d seen Yilmaz Erdogan on screen, despite the myriad films he has done, and it is a real pleasure for me to now see him in The Water Diviner. 

The other news, is that Russell has cut together a 12 minute teaser that he presented to potential distributors in Cannes. Deadline are reporting that Harvey Weinstein’s company, TWC, has offered $4 million and a widespread release in the US for The Water Diviner.  See their article here. It’s hard to imagine the film in better hands.

 

The First Official Look at The Water Diviner

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In case you missed it on Channel Seven tonight – or are overseas friends – here is a YouTube link to the first official look at The Water Diviner. It’s narrated by Russell Crowe, as he tells of his journey as a director and introduces the main cast including Olga Kurylenko, Jai Courtney, Ryan Corr, Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz. There is also some beautiful footage from location in Turkey, South Australia and Sydney – and just the slightest hint at the action you can expect to see. Russell and the extraordinary cast and crew are bringing this story to life in a way I could never have imagined. 

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(Russell Crowe on location in South Australia. Source: adelaidenow.com.au)

The Water Divenire is on song

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Not sure if you caught up with Russell Crowe on Jimmy Fallon the other night? It was broadcast in Australia this evening on ABC2. If you want to see Russell’s cracking version of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues try YouTube, here. But I digress. He also mentioned an Italian classical composition that he’s been listening to with The Water Diviner front of mind. The work he was talking about is coincidentally called “Divenire”, by Ludovico Einaudi.  Nothing to do with divining – in Italian it means something approximating ‘becoming’. Find it on YouTube here.

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Ludovico Einaudi (Image source: laprimaweb.it)

If you’re interested in Einaudi’s work, he played and recorded a concert live from his home in January last year on his YouTube channel with some of the most hauntingly beautiful classical tracks I’ve heard. Tracks that just scream film.

(Written with the caveat that I’m a writer not a musician).

Magnificent, Seven onboard for The Water Diviner

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Seven is one of those meaningful numbers that appears and reappears in history. The Seven Hills of Rome (and Constantinople), Seven Sages of Greece, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Seven Days, Seven Seas, Seven Continents, Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man. Not to mention 007 and the Magnificent Seven. So the recent news that Seven (that’s Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings in Australia) has confirmed their investment in The Water Diviner is portentous.

It seems a great fit for Kerry Stokes, Seven Network’s Chairman too. He is on the Council of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and has been helping keep some of Australia’s most significant war medals, such as Victoria Crosses, in Australia (at no small expense to himself I presume).

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Victoria Cross for valour (Image source: Wikipedia.org)

I don’t know Kerry, so this is not a plug for a mate. I just think it’s a great philanthropic thing he’s been doing for the country. The prices these medal sets can bring at auction can be understandably high, and well beyond the resources of our public institutions. So for a citizen to take it upon themselves to chip in like that is to be admired.

There’s more detail on Seven’s interest in The Water Diviner here, from if.com.au, and Hollywood Reporter.

 

The Water Diviner Heats Up

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It’s official. South Australia is sizzling hot, and not in the Hollywood hype way.  It has been over 40 degrees (celsius!) in Adelaide for 10 days running. One more makes it a record-breaking heatwave.  So not the sort of weather you want to be sitting up a windmill, ambushing trains, riding in a full suit on horseback or blowing things up.

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(Source: smh.com.au)

Over January the production has been working in Burra and Quorn in South Australia’s scorching mid-North. Places you can literally cook an egg on the bonnet (that’s a hood in the northern hemisphere) of your car. So no one can say the cast members of The Water Diviner aren’t suffering for their art (it was 49.5 degrees on set last week).

The Age has some beautiful location shots here, and an interview with Russell Crowe on set. He jokes with the Courier Mail about journalists wanting to see him hit over the head with a log. The Advertiser was there for a continuous 20-minute take. Read more on that.

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