The first corps of actors have signed up for the epic mini-series Gallipoli airing on the Nine Network in 2015, the centenary of the campaign that shaped the Anzac legend.
Gallipoli, produced by Endemol Australia for the Nine Network, features rising international star Kodi Smit-McPhee, leading some of Australia’s most exciting young actors. He plays 17-year-old Thomas “Tolly” Johnson, who lies about his age to enlist with his brother Bevan in the Great War and finds himself at Gallipoli, caught up in the chaos and key battles.
Smit-McPhee first came to notice for his AFI Award-winning role co-starring with Eric Bana in Romulus My Father. His breakthrough role was in The Roadopposite Viggo Mortensen and since then he has been steadily working here and overseas, appearing in films including, Let Me In, ParaNorman, The Congress,Matching Jack and Dead Europe.
He will next be seen in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (in cinemas July 10) with Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, and Keri Russell, and Slow West with Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn.
As dawn breaks on April 25, 1915, ANZAC troops go into battle on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula. Landing in the dark chaos, Tolly, Bevan and their mates struggle to establish a tenuous foothold on the treacherous slopes and deep ravines. They endure the next eight months on the peninsula learning lessons of survival. By the time of the final evacuation they have also learned the skills of combat and what it means to be a young man in war.
Harry Greenwood (Kokoda) plays Bevan Johnson, Sam Parsonson (Love My Way, Bikie Wars), Tom Budge (The Pacific, Mabo), Travis Jeffery (Return to the Devil’s Playground, ANZAC Girls), Dion Williams (Redfern Now, The Time of Our Lives) and Lincoln Lewis (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Underbelly: Razor, Home and Away, House Husbands) also star.
Joining the cast higher up the ranks are Matt Nable (Underbelly: Badness, Bikie Wars) Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Underbelly: Razor, Puberty Blues, Serangoon Road), Anthony Hayes (Devil’s Dust, The Broken Shore, Bikie Wars), Lachy Hulme (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Offspring, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story), James Callis (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Battlestar Galatica, Bridget Jones’ Diary) and Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) on the home front.
Gallipoli is produced by John Edwards (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War,Beaconsfield, Paper Giants, Offspring), Imogen Banks (Puberty Blues,Offspring) and Robert Connolly (producer of Balibo and The Boys, director ofUnderground: The Julian Assange Story, The Slap) with Nine’s co-Heads of Drama, Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan and Endemol Australia CEO Janeen Faithfull, as executive producers.
Directed by Glendyn Ivin (Beaconsfield, Puberty Blues), with scripts by Christopher Lee (Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, Paper Giants, Rush, Police Rescue), Gallipoli is adapted from the best-selling book by Les Carlyon. It will be the must-see television event of 2015.
Filming on Gallipoli commences in and around Melbourne later this month with a three-month shoot. Additional casting announcements will be made shortly.
Gallipoli will be distributed internationally by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.