— 6 December 2022

Eric Bana Is Helping Bring Another Classic Aussie Book To Screens

— 6 December 2022
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

In recent years, Eric Bana has forgone larger-scale Hollywood productions in favour of championing local talent (as well as kicking it back in his home country). His latest homegrown creative endeavour? A feature-length adaptation of the bestselling Tim Winton novel Blueback.

The project has reunited the star of Chopper, Black Hawk Down, and Troy fame with Melbourne-based director Robert Connolly, having previously collaborated on two other cracking instances of Australian cinema: Romulus, My Father (of which Connolly served as producer) and more recently The Dry (yet another adaptation of Aussie literature). The latter currently has a sequel dubbed Force of Nature in development.

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Filmed in Western Australia, Blueback the movie follows a girl named Abby Jackson (Ilsa Fogg and Ariel Donoghue for the younger portrayals; Mia Wasikowska for the adult portrayal) who befriends a wild blue grouper while diving. As developers threaten the ecosystem, she becomes a passionate activist dedicated to protracting the coral reefs from destruction.

Eric Bana takes on the role of “Mad Macka.”

“Macka is an abalone diver, and it is his job to keep things calm on the reef. He has a great connection with our young lead,” Bana recently told ABC News Breakfast.

“It was a lot of fun. It was much fun growing that beard as it was working with Rob [Connolly, director] again!”

Connolly himself said: “There’s this wonderful movement in the environmental movement now around optimism, which is, if we tell people things are terrible, they won’t do anything.”

“I hope the film can show people how amazing our ocean is. And, as a result, maybe inspire some activism around the issues that we’re facing.”

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“It’s the book I still get the most mail about, to this day, even though I wrote it in the middle of the 1990s,” revealed author Tim Winton, who has co-written the screenplay with Connolly.

Eric Bana, Mia Wasikowska, Ariel Donoghue, and Ilsa Fogg are joined by Radha Mitchell as Dora (Liz Alexander as an older portrayal of the same character), in addition to Clarence Ryan, Pedrea Jackson, Erik Thomson, plus Eddie Baroo.

While Blueback already premiered at both the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival this past September and the Somerville Film Festival last month, the theatrical release date is currently slated for January 1st of 2023 – check out the trailer above.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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