“I am thrilled to be working on this warm hearted and delightful comedy about finding one’s place and purpose in the world,” Kate Woods said in a statement issued by STUDIOCANAL, who will release the film in Australia and New Zealand. “I can’t wait to work with the stars of the film – the kangaroos! As an Australian filmmaker it means so much to me to showcase my homeland in a fresh and exciting way.”
Woods hasn’t directed a film in Australia since 2000’s Looking for Alibrandi. Although she has occasionally ventured home for gigs such as mini series Fighting Season, she has mostly worked in the US on episodic shows such as Castle, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Messiah.
KANGAROO – not to be confused with the 1952 Lewis Milestone picture, or the 1986 DH Lawrence adaptation, or, god forbid, the 2017 documentary – is written by Harry Cripps (The Dry, Penguin Bloom, Back to the Outback), produced by Marian Macgowan (Two Hands) and Louise Smith (Dance Academy) and uses Brolga’s story as inspiration for a “heart-warming family comedy about down-on-his-luck pro surfer Chris Matherson who becomes stranded in an Outback town after a car accident. There, he teams up with 11-year-old Indigenous girl Charlie, the pair form an unlikely friendship working together to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned joeys (baby kangaroos) in the remote but stunning Outback community. An endeavour that proves to be life-changing for both.”
No casting announcements yet, though, no doubt, the Hemsworths are at the top of the list.
Shooting will take place in the Northern Territory.
“We are so excited to embark on our first local production with KANGAROO,” said CEO STUDIOCANAL Australia and New Zealand Elizabeth Trotman, who must be referring to live action, as they have released Blinky Bill and Maya the Bee movies previously. “This is such a wonderful project that will capture the hearts of audiences worldwide. We can’t wait to bring this story inspired by the life of Chris Barns to the big screen and to tell this uniquely heart-warming Australian tale with our exceptional filmmaking team.”