Director Matthew Holmes and parts of the creative team behind the 2016 Australian bushranger epic The Legend of Ben Hall will bring Ned Kelly’s infamous final siege to the big screen with a new film titled Glenrowan.
Callan McAuliffe is in talks to don Kelly’s famous bullet proof helmet in a role which will see him reunite with Holmes after his appearance in The Legend of Ben Hall. McAuliffe’s credits include The Great Gatsby, Cloudstreet and The Walking Dead on which he’s a series regular.
The remaining cast is yet to be announced.
Glenrowan will be a no-holds-barred, gut-wrenching thriller which will accurately and cinematically recreate the gripping final chapter of The Kelly Gang, whilst aiming to derail the mythologies and preconceptions surrounding the outlaw.
Glenrowan is set over a blistering 42-hour period and will depict Kelly’s relentless quest for vengeance that spirals into a nightmare of treachery and trauma.
The Glenrowan screenplay, which Holmes co-wrote with Aidan Phelan, is drawn directly from historical accounts.
“It’s time to see this iconic figure from a fresh perspective,” says Holmes.
“We’re approaching this story of a complex young man without forcing labels onto him such as hero, victim or psychopath. This realistic approach allows Ned to be shown exactly as he was: a person with both strong virtues and deep flaws. It also allows the audience to choose how they feel about him. We wanted to create something different from the standard ‘life story’ biopic. We’re showing things that have never been shown before in a Ned Kelly film. But most of all, we want to give audiences an emotional and action-packed experience that grips them from its opening moments and doesn’t let go until the final frame.”
The Glenrowan siege remains the largest hostage situation in Australia and a defining moment in our colonial history, which will be explored not only through the eyes of the Kelly Gang, but also the police and the sixty innocent civilians caught up in the harrowing ordeal.
“All the themes of Ned’s story can be conveyed by just exploring the Glenrowan incident,” says Phelan.
“As we were writing the script, it became very apparent that this was not just about Ned Kelly – this is also the story of a tiny community suddenly swept up in this monumental standoff between outlaws and the police. The siege is a historical tragedy that affected everyone in that region for decades and still has ramifications for their descendants. Almost 140 years later, we as a society are still questioning who Ned Kelly really was. This is our chance to finally provide some realistic answers,” Phelan continues.
Fox Studios-based Russell Cunningham and Melbourne-based Jessica Pearce will produce from an original screenplay by Holmes, Phelan and historian consultant Steve Jager.
The filmmakers are currently seeking private investment and distribution deals, with their sights on an early 2019 shoot in regional Victoria.
Glenrowan is a Two Tone Pictures – RLC Motion Picture Entertainment production. Callan McAuliffe is represented by Paradigm, IMC and Affirmative Entertainment.
You can keep up to date with Glenrowan here.