Sam Worthington has kinda fallen off the map after breaking out in “Avatar,” with a few indies (“The Debt,” “Man On A Ledge“) and the whole ‘Clash Of The Titans‘ thing not exactly raising his profile — though the latter probably bought him a new house or two. He does have a ’70s surfing-drama, “Drift,” on the way, but it looks like he’s now getting behind a project closer to home, signing up to co-produce and possibly star in a cable miniseries depicting the WWI Battle Of Gallipoli that teamed Australia, New Zealand and British forces to capture Istanbul.
Set up with Aussie cable TV platform Foxtel, the project is being plotted as a six-hour mini-series that will chronicle how a team of Australian and English journalists who covered the infamous World War I battle in Gallipoli were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Up until that point, there had been significant casualties including 43,000 British, 15,000 French, 8,700 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders.
The project is already off to a good start with some talented writers on board, including Cate Shortland (“Somersault,” the upcoming “Lore“), Shaun Grant (“The Snowtown Murders“), Jacquelin Perske (“Little Fish“) and Wain Fimeri (“The Hunter“) with Worthington apparently agreeing to try to recruit “high-profile” Aussie actors not familiar with the Australian TV scene. One interesting factor that may help or hinder Worthington’s cause is that Foxtel is owned by NewsCorp’s Rupert Murdoch, with Murdoch’s own grandfather Keith one of the journalists involved.
One particularly high profile helmer, though, previously put his hand up for an updated Gallipoli project. A few years ago, Peter Jackson expressed his own interest in making a film depicting the war (albeit, a New Zealand counterpoint to Peter Weir‘s 1981 film that starred Mel Gibson) possibly for the 100th anniversary of the battle in 2015. We doubt he’d jump on board this one, but Worthington’s project is eyeing the same, monumental unveiling, with production likely to begin in the second half of next year. [Deadline]