Taking Stone for a Spin

An Australian cult classic is set to go for another ride

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In 1974, a time when the Australian film industry seemed more concerned with creating whimsical Australian pictures, director Sandy Harbutt created one of the most uncompromising, violent and gritty portrayals of an Australian subculture with his bikie flick, Stone.

Revered by many as a watershed moment in Australian cinema, the film is currently in line for a contemporary adaptation by Richard Cartwright.

In adapting the film Cartwright wants to ensure he creates a film that will do the original justice. "We're going to stick with the gritty feeling that made the 1974 Stone such a powerful piece of cinema - it's going to be no-holds barred, that's for sure."

The original storyline follows Sydney Detective Stone (Ken Shorter) who is sent to investigate the murders of a number of members of the GraveDiggers motorcycle gang. Stone becomes embroiled in the bikie gang culture and the Detective soon begins to question where his loyalties lie.

There are scenes from the movie which have become film legend including a thirty metre motorcycle jump by a stuntman off the Maroubra Cliffs into the ocean, extras being paid in beer and fight scenes where many of the punches actually connect.

In addition to this, Stone broke box office records. The movie made its budget of $195,000 back eight times, making it one of the most successful Australian films.

Cartwright is looking to fund the new adaptation in a way that he believes reflects the spirit of the original movie. Rather than looking for government grants, Cartwright is giving the public the chance to effectively own a part of the new movie.

"I made a conscious decision to avoid the traditional avenues to do something a little bit different and, I believe, something that gives those who hold the original close to their hearts, the ability to become part of the process," Cartwright says.

Cartwright does understand the weight of expectation which accompanies this project with modern visionary filmmaker and fan of the original, Quentin Tarantino, stating he believed the original was "too good to remake."

Cartwright, however, feels he is up for the challenge. "The last thing I want to do is piss off thousands of bikers plus Tarantino," Cartwright jokes.

To check out how you can invest in the Stone remake, head here. For more on the film check out the next issue of Filmink Magazine.

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