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film news

Red Dawn done Australian style

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aussie screenwriter Stuart Beattie has gone back home to find the right material for his directoral debut. The 30 Days of Night and Collateral scribe is readying a movie based on the young adult novel Tomorrow, When the War Began, kind of an Australian version of Red Dawn.

Written by Australian novelist John Marsden and published in 1994, the Tomorrow series chronicles the adventures of seven young Australian teens and their defacto leader Ellie as their country is invaded and they form a rebel cell of freedom fighters. Seven books make up the Tomorrow series and it became a bestseller down under, even being used by teachers in schools.

Beattie, who's read all of the books and counts himself as a fan, hopes that if the first film is a success he will follow it up with two more movies, then make the remaining four Tomorrow novels as four seasons of a TV show. The Sydney-based Omnilab Media is paying the cost of the film's production while the movie's special effects will be handled by sister company Iloura. Paramount Vantage is also chipping in some money and will sell the international rights to the picture. Casting is underway for a September start of filming.

And what about that Red Dawn remake being brewed right now? Does the director see a problem in two movies showing western lifestyle kids becoming guerilla soldiers and repelling an enemy force from their homelands? "I don't want to make Red Dawn, " said Beattie to The Hollywood Reporter. "Do you remember when The Full Monty and Striptease were coming out together? They came out within months as the exact same premise -- the parent strips for money so they can see their kid. But completely different. One was all flash and rockin' body, and the other was completely the opposite, of total insecurity about getting up onstage. We're more like the Full Monty version."

OK, that makes it cool.

-The Hollywood Reporter.

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