Cameras roll today on Teplitzky’s The Railway Man

30 April, 2012 by Sandy George

The 10-week shoot scheduled for Jonathan Teplitzky’s fourth feature, The Railway Man, starts today in Scotland, before moving to Thailand and Queensland.

When local distributor Transmission Films comes to market the official Australian/UK co-production next year their job will be made easier by the two Academy Award winners in the cast: Nicole Kidman, who won her Oscar for The Hours in 2003, and Firth, who won his for The King’s Speech in 2010.


The focus of The Railway Man is real-life British Army officer Eric Lomax who, years after he and thousands of other prisoners were forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during World War II, returns to Thailand to confront his tormentor Nagase Takashi.

Jeremy Irvine and Firth play Lomax at different times in his life and Hiroyuki Sanada plays Nagase. Kidman’s role is that of a woman who helps Lomax rid himself of his demons and becomes his wife.

The film is based on an autobiographical book of the same name written by Lomax and the story has already been told in a documentary titled Enemy My Friend, which includes footage of the actual meeting between Lomax and Nagase on a bridge on the River Kwai.

UK-based producer Andy Patterson wrote the script with Frank Cottrell Boyce and chose Queensland’s Chris Brown as his Australian partner. The third producer is Bill Curbishley.

Paterson worked with Teplitzky on his most recent film, Burning Man. Teplitzky’s first two films were Better Than Sex and Gettin’ Square.

The Railway Man is being made under the Pictures in Paradise and Archer Street production banners and is backed by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland and Lionsgate UK.

The executive producers are Claudia Blümhuber and Ian Hutchinson from Silver Reel, Zygi Kamasa for Lionsgate UK, Anand Tucker and Daria Jovicic.

Director Jonathan Teplitzky (centre) flanked by some of his actors, l-r, Jeremy Irvine, Colin Frith, Nicole Kidman and Stellan Skarsgård