Blue Dog rolls in WA
Bryan Brown, John Jarratt, Levi Miller and Jason Isaacs head the cast of Blue Dog, the prequel to Red Dog which is now shooting in the Pilbara.
Directed by Kriv Stenders and produced by Nelson Woss, the 1960s- set film scripted by Daniel Taplitz follows events leading up to the discovery of Red Dog on the road to Dampier.
The WA government is investing $1.25 million in the project through its Royalties for Regions program and Screen Australia and ScreenWest are co-funding.
Miller plays Mick, a bright, curious, resourceful kid. When his emotionally disturbed mother can no longer take care of him he is sent against his wishes to live with his grandfather (Brown) on a cattle station in the Pilbara.
The boy is lonely and isolated until he rescues a dog and the two become best friends.
Miller, who made his screen debut in the sci-fi TV series Terra Nova in 2011, stars as Peter Pan in Joe Wright’s upcoming Warner Bros. fantasy adventure Pan, alongside Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and Amanda Seyfried.
Englishman Isaacs (Fury, Harry Potter, Green Zone) is playing the older Mick and Jarratt is an iron ore mining magnate named Lang. Among the other supporting characters are Betty (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), Mick’s beautiful tutor, and helicopter pilot Bill (Thomas Cocquerel), a casual guitarist and singer who hankers after Betty.
The crew includes DoP Geoffrey Hall (ANZAC Girls, Red Dog), costume designer Anna Borghesi (Mao’s Last Dancer, Pitch Black), production designer Sam Hobbs (The Kettering Incident, Beneath Hill 60), art director Emma Fletcher (The Turning) and composer Cezary Skubiszewski (The Sapphires).
Stenders said, "Daniel Taplitz has written a beautifully heart-warming screenplay that is both an origin story and a stand alone movie. Along with an amazing cast, a tried and trusted crew and one incredible dog I feel very blessed and simply can’t wait to share the result with audiences next year.”
Woss' distribution company Good Dog Enterprises will jointly release Blue Dog with Roadshow Films in Australia and collaborate on international sales.
He said, "Blue Dog will take audiences on another iconic, fun, uniquely Australian journey that will put the spotlight on a location known for mining, yet also rich with landscapes of mesmerising beauty and amazing local stories of myth and culture.”
WA Culture and Arts Minister John Day said the production would boost the State’s screen industry and further position Western Australia as a viable filmmaking destination.
“A highly talented crew, including more than 60 local screen practitioners, are working on the film which is being shot entirely in the State,” Day added.
Red Dog grossed $21.3 million, the ninth-highest earning Australian film of all time. Blue Dog is part of a trilogy whose third instalment has been referred to as Yellow Dog.