SQ News

MEDIA RELEASE: Former commando to film Battle of Long Tan movie in Queensland

Screen Queensland is thrilled to share the below media release from the Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade, The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Former commando to film Battle of Long Tan movie in Queensland

An A-list cast, including Travis Fimmel, will feature in a major new movie to be filmed in Queensland thanks to the support of the Palaszczuk Government.

Speaking from Los Angeles, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the film, to be produced by award-winning Australian Martin Walsh, was about the Battle of Long Tan will be filmed in Queensland this year.

Pre-production will start in March and shooting from the end of April.

Set in Vietnam and starring an A-list cast, the provisionally-titled Danger Close is based on the true story of young men facing the strange, contradictory and brutal truths of war.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was proud to support the production, which would begin filming around Anzac Day in this Armistice Centenary year.

“As Queenslanders pause to reflect on the sacrifices of our soldiers over the past century, a film crew will be capturing their very personal stories of courage, honour, mateship and loss,” she said.

“I was moved to hear that Martin, himself a former Australian Special Forces commando, is planning a major Anzac Day event during the shoot, bringing Long Tan veterans, cast, crew and locals together for a special memorial service,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Danger Close’s script was written by Australian screenwriter and director Stuart Beattie, who wrote Pirates of Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral and Australia.  He wrote and directed Tomorrow, When the War Began and I, Frankenstein.

The Premier said production of Danger Close would employ an estimated 120 full-time Queensland crew members, offer 30 principal cast and bit-part roles, and further strengthen Queensland’s position as a serious movie-making destination.

“We are seeing a growing number of screen productions being filmed in Queensland, and our state is forging many exciting partnerships with leading studios.

“While in the United States on a trade and investment mission this week I will be meeting with studio heads at Twentieth Century Fox Film, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney to discuss new projects and partnerships,” she said.

“Attracting major productions like Danger Close to Queensland supports local jobs and showcases Queensland to the world, and that is the impetus behind Screen Queensland’s initial $30 million four-year funding injection in our screen industry.”

“At last year’s election, I committed a further $20 million to support the industry and jobs.”

“We are competing with the world to secure these films.  It’s now critical that the Turnbull Government make permanent an increase in the location tax offset incentive at 30% to give studios certainty as they prepare to finance these films. A bi-partisan Commonwealth Parliament Committee recommended this late last year.  I have written to the Prime Minister – now is the time to act or we will not get the films and the jobs that Queensland deserves.”

“In my meetings with the studios, I have also highlighted the $15.5 million Village Roadshow Sound Stage 9.  The 4000 square metre Sound Stage 9 was used for the filming of Thor: Ragnarok.  It will host squash for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.  After the Games, I want to ensure the Sound Stage is kept busy with new film productions.”

More than $214 million was spent in Queensland last financial year from direct investment by domestic and international productions, with 2340 direct jobs created by productions supported by Screen Queensland.

Danger Close is a collaborative project between Martin Walsh’s production house Red Dune Productions and John and Michael Schwarz’s Deeper Water.

— In a meeting with senior executives of Warner Bros, the Premier was told Aquaman, filmed on the Gold Coast, would be released prior to Christmas this year.  Warner Bros also advised that of the 2100 cast, crew and extras employed making Aquaman that 81% – or 1700 – were Queenslanders.

— In a meeting with Paramount Pictures, the Premier was advised that the release date for Dora the Explorer would be August 2019, which means filming will start by July 2018.  The Palaszczuk Government, through Screen Queensland, has bid for Dora to be filmed in Queensland.  There has been no confirmation of Federal Government support for the film.

Media note – There was coverage of the Government’s unveiling of Sound Stage 9 on 27 May 2016.

Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791

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