Sam Neill and Michael Caton will play estranged brothers and farmers forced to work together after a crisis hits their farms in comedy drama “RAMS.” The project is an English-language adaptation of the Icelandic movie of the same name that won best film in Un Certain Regard at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Jeremy Sims will helm the picture, reuniting him with Caton (“The Castle”) after the pair worked together on “Last Cab to Darwin.”
The original picture was written and directed by Grimur Hakonarson. It was set and filmed in his native Iceland. Production started Monday on the Australia-set version, which is shooting in Western Australia’s Great Southern region. Sims said he is “excited to have the chance to take this elegant and powerful tale and set it in the place that I spent my summers growing up.”
The film follows two brothers on adjoining sheep farms, played by Neill (“Jurassic Park”) and Caton. The siblings have not spoken for 40 years, but are forced to work together when a rare disease threatens their flocks. In its Cannes review, Variety said: “Hakonarson mines moments of wonderfully wry comedy in this tale of sheep and men.”
“This is a story about family, connected through land and community, and the relationships at the heart of those communities,” Sims said. “Regional Western Australia is a vast and complex place, and the Great Southern has such a unique flavor that audiences deserve to see it on the big screen.”
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The re-imagined “RAMS” has been adapted by screenwriter Jules Duncan. It is being produced by Janelle Landers and Aidan O’Bryan from WBMC. Screen Australia, Screenwest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund are supporting the film. Village Roadshow will distribute “RAMS” in Australia and New Zealand.
WestEnd Films is handling international sales as part of a first-look deal with WBMC and kicked off the sales effort in Toronto. “The original Icelandic film is a classic, and we look forward to seeing Jeremy Sims’ exciting re-imagining of the film,” said Maya Amsellem, WestEnd Films’ managing director.