Stand and deliver: Ned set to conquer the world, The Daily Telegraph (Aus), November 27, 2002
By Michael Bodey
THE guns have been drawn as Ned Kelly bids to
become the next Australian blockbuster.
As this exclusive picture shows, the latest film incarnation of the famed
bushranger looks to modernise the myth for a contemporary cinema audience.
Heath Ledger stars in the $31 million film opposite Geoffrey
Rush, Rachel Griffiths, Orlando Bloom and Naomi Watts
(who he first met and fell in love with on set).
Watts plays Kelly's lover, Mrs Julia Cook, in Ned Kelly.
"It's a small role but it's really a significant one," Watts said.
Watts' new bankability as a Hollywood star, on the back of the strong
worldwide box office performance of The Ring, adds clout to what many
film industry employees hope will rival 1995's "break-out" hit Shine or
even Moulin Rouge.
"Everything we're doing is positioning this not only as the biggest
Australian film of next year but, more than that, as one of the big films of
2003," UIP national marketing manager Jon Anderson said.
The film, loosely adapted from Robert Drewe's novel, Our Sunshine, and
directed by Two Hands' Gregor Jordan, will premiere in Melbourne in
"I have huge hopes for it," Watts said. "It's obviously a wonderful story
that we'll all be able to identify with and I think will also translate across
"It's wonderful we got this movie made with Australians playing Australians
rather than having to pull in American movie stars just to get American box
The appeal of that Australianess will be tested this week during test
screenings in Los Angeles.
"There's a lot of general interest in it and because it's got Heath, Naomi
and The Lord of the Rings' Orlando Bloom, it will appeal to younger
audiences," Anderson said.
"Kelly's story has resonance with a wide variety of Australians."