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SYDNEY – Actor Sam Worthington will star in as well as produce The Gallipoli Story, with Michael Rymer (American Horror Story, Battlestar Galactica) named as director of the four-hour miniseries for Foxtel, the pay TV company said Monday.
The Gallipoli Story, set to shoot in South Australia in 2014, is one of two major productions to be made for Australian TV to commemorate the 2015 centenary of the ill-fated World War I battle that’s largely defined Australian nationhood.
Worthington’s Full Clip Productions is producing alongside NBCUniversal’s Matchbox Pictures, from a screenplay by Stuart Beattie, Jacquelin Perske, Cate Shortland and Shaun Grant.
Matchbox Pictures’ Penny Chapman; John Schwarz of Full Clip, and Penny Win, Foxtel’s commissioning editor of drama are executive producers alongside Worthington, who has been intimately involved in the development of the project.
Worthington will star as Australian journalist Phillip Schuler, one of four journalists, including a young Sir Keith Murdoch (father of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch), who were embedded at Gallipoli during World War I. The four-part series tells the story of how they triggered the decision to end the Gallipoli campaign, through their relationships with the young soldiers sent to Gallipoli to fight, their growing realization that British command was tragically unprepared for the campaign and their efforts to get their stories out, despite a brutal censorship regime.
Australia’s Charles Bean and Britain’s colorful Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett also are central figures in the drama.
“This is one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever been involved with, and I’m thrilled to be working with Michael and the guys from Full Clip. This is a young man’s vision of truth and war. It’s an original angle on our national legend,” said Chapman.
NBCUniversal International Television Distribution will sell the miniseries internationally as two ninety-minute episodes.
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