First look: Kriv Stenders’ ‘Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan’
Travis Fimmel as Major Harry Smith.
Transmission Films has released two images and the trailer of Kriv Stenders’ Vietnam War movie Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan.
Travis Fimmel (TV’s Vikings, Warcraft: The Beginning) plays Major Harry Smith, who led a largely inexperienced company of 108 men who held off about 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers for three and a half hours in torrential rain on August 18 1966.
The drama scripted by Stuart Beattie, based on a story by James Nicholas, Jack Brislee, Karel Segers and Paul Sullivan, co-stars Luke Bracey, Richard Roxburgh, Daniel Webber, Nicholas Hamilton, Aaron Glenane, Anthony Hayes and Stephen Peacocke.
Transmission Films will launch the film produced by Red Dune Productions’ Martin Walsh and Deeper Water Films’ John and Michael Schwarz on August 8.
“To see the battle portrayed on screen for the first time is a heart pounding and emotional experience for audiences. The passion and expertise of the filmmaking team has made this movie an instant Australian classic,” said Transmission Films’ joint MDs Andrew Mackie and Richard Payten.
Stenders tells IF: “This film has been the greatest filmmaking challenge of my career, with an incredibly complex script and logistics. There were so many pressures to get it right.
“I am so proud and thrilled with the extraordinary work of my dedicated team both behind and in front of the cameras. It is truly an epic movie, made with the kind of ambition, scale and scope that is rarely possible in this country.”
The director, who is on a break in between directing two episodes of Seven Studios’ Between Two Worlds, was gratified with the reactions from audiences at test screenings in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles as well as a screening for Vietnam veterans in Queensland.
Contrary to the male skew of most war movies, Stenders observes: “Women of all ages really responded to it. It has a very emotional punch and will leave you moved at the end.”
Noting it has been a long time since the last epic Australian war films, Peter Weir’s Gallipoli in 1981 and Simon Wincer’s The Lighthorsemen in 1987, Walsh said: “Through this film we wanted to help modernise our ANZAC narrative and create our new ANZAC myths and legends by honouring an entire generation of Vietnam veterans.”
Luke Bracey as Sergeant Bob Buick.
The key crew includes DOP Ben Nott, costume designer Lizzie Gardiner, production designer Sam Hobbs, special effects supervisor Brian Cox, composer Caitlin Yeo and casting directors Kirsty McGregor and Stevie Ray.
Saboteur Media began pre-sales at the Cannes Film Market last year. The producers are yet to announce any deals.
View the trailer here