In celebration of the iconic Australian film’s 20th anniversary, Chopper starring Eric Bana is making a limited return to cinemas with never-before-seen bonus footage. Digitally remastered to ensure the best possible viewing experience, the film that put both the Aussie film industry and Bana himself on the map will screen for just two weeks in August.
Prior to the biographical film depicting the almost-mythological life and times of famed outlaw Mark “Chopper” Read, the majority of Aussie households simply knew Eric Bana as a comedian who had most notable appeared on the sketch comedy series Full Frontal; later making an appearance in yet another one of the country’s most iconic flicks, The Castle.
After gaining 13 kilos and growing a moustache to take the lead in Andrew Dominik’s production, however, he’d no longer go by unnoticed. In the year post-Chopper, Bana would be cast in Ridley Scott’s seminal Black Hawk Down, gaining even wider attention from Hollywood, Ang Lee’s Hulk a few years after that, before filming Wolfgang Petersen’s historic epic Troy opposite Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg’s gritty drama Munich back-to-back.
“I’m proud of how unique Chopper is,” says Bana, speaking to News Corp of his theatrical origins.
“It’s easy to forget just how controversial the idea of the film was, there were a lot of people really angry we were even making the film in the first place. It was a real risk, we didn’t really know what it would do.”
“We didn’t win Best Film that year, it had plenty of detractors, but it’s far more important for a film to have longevity than to have a massive opening.”
“Any time you can be part of a character that lives on for more than five minutes is a privileged opportunity. I’ve never not been grateful for it.”
Much to the annoyance of countless fans, Chopper has never been available to stream throughout the entirety of its existence. As pointed out by many, this could very well be a chance to reach a new generation who never encountered the VHS cassettes or DVDs.
“Chopper has been in the wrecking yard for a little while, waiting to be dusted off,” adds Eric Bana.
“As a film buff, for the preservation of all Australian films, it’s great when the best technical version of them can be resurrected and established.
A digitally-remastered 20th anniversary edition of Chopper complete with bonus footage will return to more than 150 cinemas around the country starting from August 26th (but only for two weeks).