Before shooting The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe took the cast to his property in New South Wales for a WW1 bootcamp. Part bonding, part method acting, part torture, they all seemed to enjoy themselves. See the official video here.
There was a great interview with Russell Crowe this evening on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program here in Australia. He copped a bit of friendly fire from the interviewer, Mike Willesee, who is a current affairs icon in Australia (for our OS friends) but Russell took it all in good humour. He had some interesting things to say about the Gallipoli legend and suggested that as a nation Australia should be mature enough now to reflect on the Gallipoli campaign with honesty and perhaps even through the eyes of the people we invaded. A thought provoking interview that you can see and read about on the Sunday Night website.
The World Premiere of The Water Diviner is shaping up to be a spectacular event to kick off the festive season. Russell (Crowe) and Olga (Kurylenko) will be gracing the red carpet, on December 2 at the State Theatre in Sydney, along with their co-stars Jai Courtney, Jacqueline McKenzie, Steve Bastoni, Megan Gale and Dan Wylie. Spare a thought for the poor writers who will blend into the carpet amidst such elegant talent.
It is wonderful to be in the State Theatre; a beautiful, iconic venue with such a rich history. If you find yourself in there for a show check out the crystal chandelier – it weighs a ton (actually 4 tonne). The theatre also has an auspicious movie history, screening Movietone newsreels during WW2, as well as being home to the Sydney Film Festival. Check out the ornate foyer below – not your average multiplex.
Tomorrow is Remembrance Day in Australia. Originally called Armistice Day, on the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month we pause for a moment to commemorate the end of the Great War in 1918. It is also a time when Australians reflect on the courage and sacrifice of those who have served in the armed forces, and the impact on them and their families.
This year Australians can show their appreciation for returned servicemen by running down to their nearest Woolworths supermarket and buying a Limited Edition “The Water Diviner” tin of Anzac biscuits. Produced by Modern Baking proceeds will assist the RSL who have been supporting veterans and their families since 1916. You could also win a trip to Turkey in 2015, or The Water Diviner movie passes.
I remember as a kid raiding my grandmother’s biscuit tin in her kitchen in Holbrook, in country NSW, and have fond memories of the Anzac biscuits she used to bake. I’m going to surprise her by popping one of these tins of biscuits in the mail.
For non-Aussies who are wondering what on earth Anzac biscuit are, they are round, hard biscuits made with oats, coconut, treacle and flour. See a classic recipe here. Originally they were made by Australian women for soldiers on the front during World War 1. For more about the history of the Anzac bicky click here. They are now as Aussie as Vegemite and meat pies and pavlovas.
Since the announcement of the US release with Warner Bros. I’ve had a few people asking about release dates for other territories. Below is a list of dates from The Water Diviner entry on IMDB as they currently stand. If the dates move you should be able to find the update on IMDB here. We hope you enjoy the film wherever you come from.
|Australia||26 December 2014|
|New Zealand||26 December 2014|
|Turkey||26 December 2014|
|Italy||8 January 2015|
|Lithuania||9 January 2015|
|Malaysia||22 January 2015|
|Austria||26 February 2015|
|Portugal||26 February 2015|
|Brazil||5 March 2015|
|Denmark||19 March 2015|
|Finland||20 March 2015|
|Norway||20 March 2015|
|Romania||27 March 2015|
|UK||3 April 2015|
|Belgium||15 April 2015|
|Switzerland||15 April 2015||(German speaking region)|
|France||15 April 2015|
|Netherlands||16 April 2015|
|USA||24 April 2015|
|Germany||7 May 2015|
|Sweden||8 May 2015|
News from Burbank California. For all our North American friends who have been asking when they’ll be able to see Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, I’m excited to say that The Water Diviner has been picked up by Warner Bros. and is slated for cinemas on the 24th April, 2015. See the Warner Bros. announcement here and Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and Variety.
The date might sound a bit random for non-Aussies but it is an incredibly auspicious and meaningful one for we Antipodeans. It is the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli invasion of Turkey by Australian and Allied troops. (See information about the 100th Anniversary Commemorations here). As the curtains are drawn on The Water Diviner in cinemas across the US, our dawn services marking the 100th anniversary will be under way here in Melbourne, across the country, and on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
The deal was announced by Brett Ratner of RatPac at the American Film Market yesterday. He and James Packer are our Executive Producers along with Andrew Knight, John Collee and Kerry Stokes. The film’s producer’s are Andrew Mason, Troy Lum and Keith Roger. For the full cast and crew see IMDB.
Meaghan and I have just signed off on the novel cover for The Water Diviner, along with Pan Macmillan and eOne. The team at Pan Macmillan has been a dream to work with from the outset. Bolinda Publishing is about to record the audiobook with a secret narrator.
The back blurb reads:
“Constantinople, 1919. Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer, arrives in Turkey to fulfill a pledge made on his wife’s grave – to find the bodies of their three sons, lost in battle at Gallipoli, and bring them home.
In the enemy city Connor meets Orhan, a mischievous Turkish boy, and his mother Ayshe, who is struggling to keep her family hotel afloat and rebuild her life after the war.
Connor can trace life-giving water under the earth, but finding his sons at Gallipoli seems impossible when faced with the gruesome landscape of sun-bleached bones and rotting uniforms. But a Turkish officer gives the broken father hope where there was none – Connor’s eldest son may still be alive.
As Connor risks his life travelling into the heart of Anatolia one question haunts him: If his son is alive why hasn’t he come home?”
Look out for The Water Diviner book in all your favourite bookstores, online and as a audiobook from December 9.
An update for AACTA and AFI members in and around Melbourne… if you check your email inbox, you should find your invitation to book a ticket to attend one of four preview screenings in Melbourne. The first is open to AACTA and AFI members and will be held next Monday 27 October at 6pm at the Palace Cinema, Como. The other three are only open to AACTA members, and are additional screenings hosted by Entertainment One. Those sessions are at the Kino Cinemas in Collins Street on Tuesday 28 (9.30am) and Thursday 30 (5.30pm) October, and Wednesday 5 November (6.00pm). If you’re lucky enough to snag a ticket, I hope you enjoy the ride. It’s wonderful to have the film showing in our home town.
AACTA (Australia Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) members can be amongst the first to see The Water Diviner at preview screenings in Sydney and Melbourne on Monday 27th of October (yep, next week). These screenings are part of the formal voting process for the 2015 AACTA Awards, so the sessions are not available to the general public unfortunately.
If you are a NSW AACTA member and have not received an email from AACTA with booking details, contact them asap as the tickets are extremely limited.
There are also other advance screening sessions available for AACTA members prior to start of the awards voting period in early November, as the film is having its theatrical release on Boxing Day.
Victorian booking emails have not been sent out yet but I’m told members can expect them any day.
For those lucky enough to have tickets, I hope you enjoy the film.
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.
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.