Paramount buys local Beattie distribution rights

'Australia' scribe's directorial debut 'War' set for September

SYDNEY -- Paramount Pictures Australia has acquired local distribution rights to Stuart Beattie’s directorial debut “Tomorrow When The War Began," slating it for a September 2 release in Australia and New Zealand, the company said Friday. 

“Tomorrow When The War Began” tells the story of a group of teenagers who return from a camping trip to discover that their town – and perhaps their entire country – has been invaded by unnamed enemy forces.

Beattie, who penned "Australia," "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and "Collateral," also wrote the script from the first novel in John Marsden’s best-selling series of the same name. 

The AUS$20 million feature ($18 million), currently in post-production, is being produced by Andrew Mason through Omnilab Media’s production arm, Ambience Entertainment. Omnilab is the film’s principal investor.  

Mike Selwyn, Paramount Pictures managing director and vice president Australia/ New Zealand, said, “We are very happy to now be able to confirm the release date and some of the details of the campaign. The filmmakers are well into the post-production process but it is important to take the time necessary to make the final film as good as it can possibly be. What we have seen so far is extremely exciting and we are sure that the many fans of these books will not be disappointed.”

The September release by Paramount is a boost to the local sector, which is currently enjoying a purple patch at the boxoffice. After the success last year of a number of films including Bruce Beresford’s “Mao's Last Dancer” and an overall lift to a 5% share of the local boxoffice last year, the January release of indigenous musical “Bran Nue Dae” and genre film “Daybreakers” have enjoyed commercial as well as critical success.