Fresh off a strong showing at Cannes in May for Weinstein Co’s “Macbeth,” writer-director Justin Kurzel shows no signs of slowing down. Kurzel and “Snowtown Murders” collaborator Shaun Grant are retracing their Australian crime roots with an upcoming adaptation of Peter Carey’s novel, “True History of the Kelly Gang.” The story chronicles the life and death of one of the most wanted bushrangers in Australian history, told in autobiographical splendor by Kelly himself.
Backed by Australia’s Porchlight and the UK’s Daybreak Pictures, likeminded duo Kurzel and Grant will return to their native Australia to bring Kelly’s fourth cinematic incarnation back to life. Aussie Heath Ledger made the role famous back in 2003 when he played the beloved titular outlaw. Presumably Kurzel should have no trouble luring another star to play one of history’s greatest folklore anti-heroes.
As expectations continue to rise for Kurzel, his eclectic film resumé proves he’s more than willing to take on his share of disparate projects. He also has a hotly anticipated “Assassin’s Creed” Ubisoft video game adaptation in the works, reuniting Fassbender and Cotillard, for New Regency and Fox (December 21, 2016) as well as another he is developing with writing partner Michael Lesslie, “Haven” (Film4 and Element Pictures), a psychological thriller set in a mental hospital.