'Red Dog'.

By Emma Brown

WA feature film Red Dog has secured US actor Josh Lucas to star in the iconic tale, which is currently in production in South Australia.

Lucas who has featured in films Sweet Home Alabama and A Beautiful Mind will lead the cast in the story about a charismatic kelpie who united a mining community in the 1970s and ‘80s while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.

The film is a true story adaptation of the novel of the same name by award-winning author Louis De Bernières of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin fame.

Lucas joins an impressive ensemble cast including Rachael Taylor (Transformers), Noah Taylor (Shine, Almost Famous), Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) Luke Ford (Animal Kingdom), Rohan Nichol (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), Arthur Angel (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) and canine co-star Koko.

Directed by Kriv Stenders (Lucky Country) and produced by Nelson Woss (Ned Kelly) and Julie Ryan (Ten Canoes), Red Dog will film for a total of nine weeks: five weeks in South Australia followed by four weeks on location in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The script has been adapted by writer Daniel Taplitz (Chaos Theory).

Roadshow Films managing director Joel Pearlman said that the novel by Louis De Bernières has been much loved by many Australians and it is tremendously exciting it will soon be a feature film.

“This is a wonderfully heartwarming story for a family audience and we are looking forward to releasing Red Dog in 2011,” he said.

The investors in the film include ScreenWest, the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Australia along with substantial support via sponsorship from Rio Tinto, Woodside, Westrac, Skywest and Pedigree.

Josh Lucas with the kelpie Koko

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