Andrew Knight, my co-writer on The Water Diviner, is hopelessly self-effacing and refreshingly (for this industry) incapable of trumpeting his own achievements. Einstein’s theory of relativity personified, his creativity is inversely proportional to his ego. In any case it is left up to me, largely because I can’t bear his self-deprecating keening another moment, to tell everyone that earlier this month he won a gong from the Australian Writers’ Guild for his work on Rake. See Sydney Morning Herald newspaper coverage here. For anyone who hasn’t seen Rake, the program revolves around the bizarre (and hilarious) cases of debauched Sydney lawyer, Cleaver Greene (played by Richard Roxburgh). It has also been picked up by Fox Network in the US. That version stars Greg Kinnear and is screening this year. Season 3 of Rake Australia is airing on the ABC soon. Good work mate.
“Courtney portrays Lt-Col Cecil Hilton, the smart, efficient soldier tasked with organizing the effort to identify the tens of thousands of soldiers killed at Gallipoli. He reluctantly allows Connors (an Australian father) to stay and look for his sons’ bodies.”
In a sense this character is where the story of The Water Diviner began. In 1920, the real “Hilton” wrote a letter to the war historian, Charles Bean, describing how an Australian father had come to Gallipoli looking for his son’s body. I showed the excerpt of the letter to Andrew Knight and immediately we became intrigued with this grieving dad. We built the story from there. There’s more about the seed of the idea in an earlier blog.
It will be great to see this talented bloke Jai playing alongside the other talented bloke.
The hardware is a little advanced for WW1 but you get the picture.
(Image from A Good Day to Die Hard, angel jackets.com)
James Packer and Brett Ratner have founded a new film financing company, RatPac Entertainment. The combo of their surnames almost demands they go into business together doesn’t it? The Australian, South China Morning Post and Variety have reported that one of the first projects they are investing in, along with Dune Entertainment and Warner Brothers, is The Water Diviner. Great to have the Australian connection.
In our story an Australian father travels to Turkey to recover the bodies of his sons who were lost in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign in WW1. Olga Kurylenko joins The Water Diviner cast to play the owner of the hotel in Constantinople where the Australian farmer stays. A Ukrainian-born French national, Kurylenko plays a Turkish woman and brings an authentic International texture to the film. Anyone who knows Istanbul knows how cosmopolitan the city is, and always has been. Read more from Variety magazine here, Hollywood Reporter here or Empire Online here. Shooting is scheduled to start in early December.
Image from ‘The Expatriate’/source: coolawesomemovies.com