Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings have joined Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment as investors in Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner.
Filming wrapped recently in Turkey on the drama which stars Crowe as an Australian farmer who — four years after the WW1 battle of Gallipoli — travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in the action.
Olga Kurylenko plays the Turkish woman who owns the hotel in which he stays. The cast includes Jai Courtney, Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz.
The producers are Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason and Troy Lum and Keith Rodger of Crowe’s Fear of God Films. The original screenplay is by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastasios. Packer and Ratner, who are co-funding a slate of films with Warner Bros., serve as executive producers.
“The original script came to us through Hopscotch some time ago and it was our view that it was one of best scripts for an Australian film we had ever read,” said Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner.
"It is a brilliant story set against the backdrop of one of the most important stories in Australian history. It is an incredibly moving tale and while not giving too much away we felt its production as a major movie is just the most powerful way of conveying to all Australians the special place that Gallipoli has in our past.”
It's Seven's first investment in an Australian film since Kath & Kimderella and Any Questions for Ben? "This is a bit different to those; much more serious on a number of levels," Worner told IF.
Entertainment One (formerly Hopscotch eOne) and Universal will jointly release the film, Crowe’s first as a director, in Oz . Universal bought the film for France, Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria and Benelux. EOne grabbed the rights for the UK, Spain and Canada.