With the buzz surrounding “Macbeth” set to only get louder following its rapturous reception at the Cannes Film Festival this spring, director Justin Kurzel is lining up a slate of projects so he can ride the wave. Later this year he’ll reteam with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and begin production on “Assassin’s Creed,” and last month he put the thriller “Haven” into development. And now a new project is saddled up and riding onto his desk.
IF reports that Kurzel will direct an adaptation of Peter Carey‘s Booker Prize winning novel, “The True History Of The Kelly Gang,” about Ned Kelly, the legendary Australian outlaw. The project will reteam Kurzel with “The Snowtown Murders” writer Shaun Grant, offering yet another cinematic take on the people’s hero, who has previously been played on the big screen by folks like Heath Ledger and Mick Jagger. Here’s the book synopsis:
In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.
Kurzel doing a western about a mythic figure? Yep, I would love to see that, and hopefully this project is at the top of the list once “Assassin’s Creed” wraps.