A Gabriel sequel by Shane Abbess could become a reality
After being attached to several US projects that have so far failed to go into production, Shane Abbess is returning to Australia to develop a sequel to his $250,000 debut Gabriel, which was picked up by Sony Pictures for worldwide release in 2006.
“We are bringing him home to write the screenplay,” producer James Vernon told IF Magazine, “and will do everything we can to make sure that’s his next film and the budget is going to be substantial.”
Abbess is still under a first-look deal with the studio and ideally they will sign-on for the next film, Vernon said, but failing that he will finance it through his financing arm MFM.
Gabriel told the story of how the title character – played by Andy Whitfield — fought to rid purgatory of evil fallen angels and save the souls of its inhabitants. The new film, tentatively titled Gabriel: Sins of the Father, is about the consequence and what happened to Gabriel’s son.
Whitfield, who played the lead in the US series Spartacus: Blood and Sand a couple of years after Gabriel, died of cancer last year.
“I don’t feel like there’s anyone out there who could replace Andy …. (He) wanted to see this story through and I feel we’ve finally found a way to honour both he and the fans with integrity,” Abbess said in a statement.
Vernon and daughter Kirsty Vernon will be producing under the Screen Corporation banner and Abbess’s production company Storm Alley Entertainment. Screen Corporation will handle international sales.
Meanwhile, Screen Corporation has signed a first-look deal with Unversal Pictures International Australia for all motion pictures the company is packaging, financing and distributing in the territory.
Former Roadshow and Disney head in Australia, Alan Finney, and former Warner Bros International president Wayne Duband have a hand in assessing Screen Corporation projects.