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07 11 2017 - Media release

Cast announced for director Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang


George MacKay, Russell Crowe, Essie Davis and Nicholas Hoult

George MacKay (Captain Fantastic, Pride), Academy Award Winner® Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, The Water Diviner), Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men, Tolkien) and Essie Davis (The Babadook, Game of Thrones, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams) have been announced to star in True History of the Kelly Gang, a film by the creative team behind the unflinching and award-winning Snowtown.

Due to film in Victoria, Australia next year from March, director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth, Assassin’s Creed) and writer Shaun Grant (Snowtown, Jasper Jones, Berlin Syndrome) will shatter the mythology of notorious bushranger Ned Kelly (MacKay) with a gothic western for our times. Based on Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel, this is a bold, uncompromising film about one of the world’s greatest outlaws and the colonial badlands from which he rose.

Joining Mackay, Crowe, Hoult and Davis are Travis Fimmel (Lean on Pete, Vikings, Universal/Legendary’s Warcraft), and Sean Keenan (Strangerland, Lockie Leonard). Dacre Montgomery (Stranger Things), Harry Greenwood (Hacksaw Ridge, The Nightingale), Thomasin McKenzie (My Abandonment, The Changeover) and Earl Cave (Born to Kill) have also joined the cast.

Director Justin Kurzel said, "Peter Carey’s book True History of the Kelly Gang always felt like the true spirit of Ned Kelly. Unsentimental, brutal, raw and visceral. His story is one of the great odysseys in history, and I feel excited to be bringing it to the screen with a fresh cinematic eye. This is a really unique and modern cast, and I am so proud to be working with such a talented ensemble of new faces and celebrated actors."

True History of the Kelly Gang is produced by Liz Watts from Porchlight Films (Mary Magdalene, Animal Kingdom), Hal Vogel from Daybreak Pictures (Hyde Park on Hudson, Endgame, The Promise), and Romulus Entertainment’s Brad Feinstein (Fences, Beatriz at Dinner, Dreamland), Peter Carey, David Aukin from Daybreak, Vincent Sheehan from Porchlight and Joseph F. Ingrassia from Romulus will serve as Executive Producers.

The film was developed in collaboration with Film4, Screen Australia and Film Victoria. It is financed by Romulus Entertainment and has received major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and Film4.

Rocket Science will handle international sales. CAA, which arranged for the film’s financing, will represent the U.S. rights, and the film will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films.

MacKay is known for his roles in Captain Fantastic, Pride, Defiance, and more. Up next, he is starring in Ophelia alongside Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts, and Where Hands Touch alongside Amandla Stenberg and Abbie Cornish.

Crowe won an Academy Award® for his starring role in A Beautiful Mind, and his career includes memorable roles in titles such as The Nice Guys, Les Misérables, Cinderella Man, Gladiator and many more. He made his directorial debut with The Water Diviner, in which he also starred alongside Olga Kurylenko.

Hoult started his career playing opposite Hugh Grant in About A Boy before moving onto the hit UK series Skins. He has gone on to star in films including Rebel in the Rye, Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Equals and Warm Bodies. He is currently filming Tolkien alongside Lily Collins, taking on the role as legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of The Rings series.

Davis is best known thus far for her leading role in The Babadook as well as her key role of ‘Lady Crane’ in series six of the HBO phenomenon Game of Thrones. Her further credits include The Slap, The Last Post, Starz’s The White Princess and, most recently the female lead opposite Bryan Cranston in Philip K.Dick’s Electric Dreams.

MacKay is represented by Gordon and French and UTA; Crowe is represented by WME; Hoult is represented by 42 and UTA; Davis is represented by United Agents and WME; Watts is represented by UTA; Grant is represented by The Fleming Agency and Paradigm; and Kurzel is represented by CAA.

Media enquiries

Courtney Mayhew | NIXCo

+61 2 8399 0626 | [email protected]

Rocket Science, Porchlight Films, Romulus Entertainment, Film, Film Victoria and Daybreak Pictures

Media enquiries

Maddie Walsh | Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 5915  | [email protected]

Ted Rose | Senior Publicist

+ 61 2 8113 1091  | + 61 456 558 679 | ted.rose@screenaustralia.gov.au

All other general/non-media enquiries

Sydney + 61 2 8113 5800  |  Melbourne + 61 3 8682 1900 | [email protected]