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Kevin Bacon will re-team with Wolf Creek director Greg McLean to make survival drama, Jungle, based on the true story of adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who was lost for three weeks alone in the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia in 1981.
Arclight Films is producing Jungle, after See-Saw Films and the Spierig brothers didn’t take the film past its early development. Screenwriter Justin Monjo, (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart), has written the script, with Gary Hamilton, Dana Lustig, Mike Gabrawy and Mark Lazarus producing. Arclight Films International is handling international sales.
Jungle is the second project for Bacon and McLean who made Blumhouse supernatural thriller 6 Miranda Drive, in April. Bacon will next be seen alongside Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch in Warner Bros mob drama, Black Mass.
Jungle was one of 11 projects to receive $9.2 million (AUS $10.7 million) worth of financing from agency Screen Australia, which triggers $50 million worth of production Down Under.
Other features to be financed include the country’s first Islamic-themed rom-com, Ali’s Wedding, from NBC Universal’s local production arm, Matchbox Pictures to be directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires); psychological thriller Joe Cinque’s Consolation, the debut feature from Toronto International Film Festival short film winner, Sotiris Dounoukos; and Porchlight Films’ next feature, Jasper Jones based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Craig Silvey and adapted for the screen by the writer of The Snowtown Murders, Shaun Grant. Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae) will direct.
On the TV side, Guy Pearce–starrer Jack Irish has been expanded from a telemovie format to a six-episode limited run series for the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC). The latest series in the Jack Irish franchise will be produced by Essential Media’s Ian Collie (Saving Mr. Banks) with scripts from Andrew Knight, Matt Cameron and Andrew Anastasios (The Water Diviner).
And Shine Australia will make a telemovie on the life of iconic entertainer Peter Allen — one time beau of Liza Minnelli and Australia’s only Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winner. The eponymously titled Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door will be made by Shine for the Seven Network Australia, following their successful collaboration on the Michael Hutchence biopic, (INXS: Never Tear Us Apart), which was the top-rated TV drama in Australia for 2014.
Elsewhere the ABC has commissioned a second series of local political thriller The Code, from Playmaker Media, while Matchbox Pictures will make comedy, The Family Law for the multicultural broadcaster, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) on what it means to be a Chinese Australian family, from comedian Benjamin Law.
Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s head of production, said of the new slate: “We expect the combination of favorite characters in local stories along with some fresh new faces will appeal to all walks of life.”
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