Justin Kurzel is exhausted. He’s just got off the plane from a six-week shoot in Mumbai, where he was filming the upcoming series Shantaram for Apple TV+. In half an hour he’ll premiere his new film, True History of the Kelly Gang to a Melbourne audience.
Kurzel’s film (reviewed here on Screenhub) completely reimagines the macho image of the Australian folk anti-hero, depicting Kelly as a punky, beardless, dress-wearing youth. Adapted from Peter Carey’s first-person reimagining of the Kelly legend by screenwriter Shaun Grant (Kurzel’s Snowtown; Jasper Jones), and produced by Hal Vogel, Liz Watts, Kurzel and Paul Ranford, the film tells the wildly dramatised story of the outlaw, played by rising British star George MacKay (1917), on his formative journey from innocent boy, to bushranger, fugitive and mass murderer.