Big news, both good and bad for the Australian news industry came out last week, and both aspects will be talking points for a while.
First the good news, and it seems that a major action film is coming Down Under, and will give a much needed boost for the industry.
I, Frankenstein is looking to be filmed in Victoria in 2012, and not only have a (semi) A-list cast, but will be taken on by a local face.
The film, which looks at Frankenstein’s monster Adam stand up in a battle on Earth between two supernatural forces, is gearing up to be a big blockbuster, including the casting announcements of Bill Nighy as an undisclosed villian, and Aaron Eckhart as the titular monster Adam.
What is even more impressive is that an international director won’t be flying down and taking charge, but will be instead handed to director Stuart Beattie, who has a deft hand at writing big blockbusters already (as a screen writer for majority of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, not to mention G.I Joe), but proved his directorial chops in big action sequences last year when he helmed Tomorrow, When the War Began.
While this is thrilling news for the film industry, as not only is Australia still considered a key place for filming despite the rising dollar (which was thought to be the only reason it was used, because it was cheap), but now Beattie himself has the chance to make a huge splash in Hollywood as a blockbuster director, which this film seems to be gearing up toward (looking through the comic book series, it seems to be cross between Hellboy and Constantine).
But the bad news seems to come from the fact for a Hollywood film to become available for Australian shores, an Australian film must be left for the wayside, and this time it seems to be the offshoot from one of the most successful Australian films in recent times.
With Beattie now confirms for I, Frankestein, the unfortunate fall out seems to be aimed squarely at Tomorrow, When The War Began series.
Before Beattie signed up for this role, the last thing we heard he was working on was the sequel to the Tomorrow, as he was going to handle the script right up to the proposed start of filming in September this year.
Unfortunately that deadline came and went, and still no confirmation came out when the sequel (based on the book The Dead of the Night) was going to start.
As they say, no news is never good news (well that’s how the phrase goes in the movie industry), and after a while the question remained will it ever be made?
Well now that I Frankenstein has been confirmed as the next movie Beattie is in charge of, it seems the sequel is looking less and less likely.
This is a major shame for the industry, as I wrote last year that the film was of a high standard, and finally proof that Australian films can match some great blockbuster sequences we see come out of Hollywood.
And while it was a success in 2010 as the biggest Australian film, the shame many people still avoiding Australian films means it could only grab approx $15 million in total earnings, not getting up to the $25 budget it took to film.
So while it is great news that I, Frankenstein will be filmed in Victoria (and now gives me my new side project next year, as I will be happy to stalk Eckhart and Nighy as they are two of the my favourite breakout stars over the past three years) and will definitely give a boost to the industry, if it is to the detriment of making quality Australian films, it could set the industry back more than previously anticipated.
Also, let’s just hope I, Frankenstein is not as crap as previous films made in Victoria (such as Killer Elite and Ghost Rider), or else our state will begin to get the reputation of making nothing but drivel!