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Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, George MacKay Join ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, George MacKay, and Essie Davis will star in “True History of the Kelly Gang,” with filming planned for March in Australia.

Justin Kurzel (“Assassin’s Creed”) will direct from a script by Shaun Grant, based on Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel. MacKay will portray notorious bushranger Ned Kelly, who died at the age of 25 in 1880 in a shootout with Australian police.

The cast includes Travis Fimmel, Sean Keenan, Dacre Montgomery, Harry Greenwood, Thomasin McKenzie, and Earl Cave.

Kurzel said “Peter Carey’s book ‘The True History of the Kelly Gang’ always felt like the true spirit of Ned Kelly. Unsentimental, brutal, raw and visceral. His story is one of the great odysseys in history, and I feel excited to be bringing it to the screen with a fresh cinematic eye. This is a really unique and modern cast, and I am so proud to be working with such a talented ensemble of new faces and celebrated actors.”

“True History of the Kelly Gang” is produced by Liz Watts from Porchlight Films, Hal Vogel from Daybreak Pictures, and Romulus Entertainment’s Brad Feinstein. Carey, David Aukin from Daybreak, Vincent Sheehan from Porchlight, and Joseph Ingrassia from Romulus will serve as executive producers.

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The film is financed by Romulus Entertainment and has received major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria and Film4. The film was developed in collaboration with Film4, Screen Australia, and Film Victoria.

Sales have launched at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif. Rocket Science will handle international sales. CAA, which arranged for the film’s financing, will represent the U.S. rights, and the film will be distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Transmission Films.

MacKay is known for his roles in “Captain Fantastic” and “Pride.” He is starring in “Ophelia,” alongside Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts, and “Where Hands Touch,” alongside Amandla Stenberg and Abbie Cornish.

Crowe won an Academy Award for his starring role in “Gladiator” and starred with Ryan Gosling in last year’s  “The Nice Guys.” Hoult starred in “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” and is filming “Tolkien” alongside Lily Collins. Davis is best known for her leading role in “The Babadook” as well as her as Lady Crane in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Her further credits include “The Slap,” “The Last Post,” Starz’s “The White Princess,” and, most recently, the female lead opposite Bryan Cranston in “Philip K.Dick’s Electric Dreams.”

MacKay is represented by Gordon and French and UTA; Crowe is represented by WME; Hoult is represented by 42 and UTA; Davis is represented by United Agents and WME; Watts is represented by UTA; Grant is represented by the Fleming Agency and Paradigm; and Kurzel is represented by CAA.

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