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Chris O’Dowd drawn to Sapphires

Wayne Blair adapts Australian stage musical

LONDON — Irish actor Chris O’Dowd (”Bridesmaids”) will star in ”The Sapphires,” directed by Wayne Blair, a film version of the hit Australian stage musical.

Set in 1968 and inspired by real events, it’s the story of a girl band plucked from obscurity in a remote Aboriginal mission by an unlikely Irish talent scout. He brands them as Australia’s answer to the Supremes, and takes them to entertain the troops in Vietnam.

Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell play the four singers.

Pic, which starts shooting this month in Australia and Vietnam, is scripted by Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs, and produced by Rosemary Blight and Kylie du Fresne of Goalpost Pictures Australia.

It’s financed by Singapore-based IFS Capital, Screen Australia, Screen NSW, the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund, E-Film Australia and eOne’s Hopscotch Films.

Tristan Whalley of Goalpost Films UK is handling international sales.

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