Sam Worthington looks to star in Long Tan
Sam Worthington has thrown his hat in the ring to star in Bruce Beresford's upcoming war flick Long Tan
With his dual Hollywood entrées – James Cameron’s Avatar and McG’s Terminator Salvation – to be released next year, Australian actor Sam Worthington is now eyeing a homeward journey, asking to be considered for the lead role in Bruce Beresford’s upcoming Vietnam War flick Long Tan.
Based on the famous Battle of Long Tan, a 1966 engagement in which an Australian and New Zealand regiment overcame great odds in the titular South Vietnam village, the proposed feature film is a follow on to the Worthington narrated, award winning 2006 doco, Battle of Long Tan, which was directed by Damien Lay and produced through Martin Walsh’s company, Red Dune Films.
Having made his name in high profile local flicks like Somersault, Rogue and Dirty Deeds, Worthington was famously considered to take over the James Bond franchise in director Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale (Daniel Craig won the part), and has played smaller roles in American productions The Great Raid and Hart’s War. His star is now rising internationally after filming the leading role in the much anticipated Avatar, which will mark Cameron’s return to fiction filmmaking following 1997’s monster hit Titanic. Budgeted at $200 million, the sci-fi adventure is perhaps only rivalled by the similarly massive Terminator Salvation, the fourth cinematic entry into Cameron’s famous series, which Charlie’s Angels director McG has begun filming with stars Christian Bale, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard and other big names.
Worthington’s vocal interest in Long Tan is an undeniable coup for the project. “I believe Long Tan to be a very important story to tell,” says the actor. “It’s a true tale that’s touched me so much.”
Bruce Beresford’s involvement in the film has been longstanding, and Long Tan will help cap a very busy year for the filmmaker, who has three other movies scheduled for imminent release.
Amongst Australia’s most important and acclaimed directors, Beresford is responsible for local classics like Breaker Morant, Puberty Blues and Don’s Party and international hits like Driving Miss Daisy, amongst dozens of other films.
Beresford penned the screenplay for Long Tan with actor turned writer Justin Monjo (The Alice, Farscape) for Australian producer Charles Hannah (World’s Fastest Indian). Like Battle of Long Tan, the fictional film will also be produced by Walsh – who’s been developing the picture since 2004 – through Red Dune, with US based company Brainstorm Media also coming on board with Meyer Shwarzstein (Bridge to Terabithia) and Peter Wetherell (The Big Empty) in further producing roles.
Announced on August 18 – the 42nd anniversary of the famed battle – Long Tan is set to commence production sometime in mid 2009, with likely filming locations including a Queensland stand-in for the Australian base in Nui Dat, Vietnam.