IFC Films has purchased North American rights to “The True History of the Kelly Gang,” a historical drama that stars Russell Crowe, Nicholas Hoult, and Charlie Hunnam. The film is premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and was considered to be one of the hotter projects looking for distribution.
The film is adapted from Peter Carey’s Booker Prize–winning novel of the same name and follows the exploits of the Australian outlaw. In his 25 years on Earth, Kelly burned bright, becoming an outback version of Jesse James or Robin Hood. His career of crime has inspired past films, one, an early aughts offering that starred the late Heath Ledger, and another, a 1970 production with Mick Jagger at his Mick Jagger-iest.
The sale of “The True History of the Kelly Gang” is in the seven figure range. Justin Kurzel directed the picture from a script by Shaun Grant. His previous credits include “Assassin’s Creed,” “Macbeth,” and “The Snowtown Murders,” the last of which IFC released.
IFC Films is eyeing a 2020 release. In addition to veteran actors such as Crowe and Hoult, newcomer George MacKay appears in the title role.
CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group brokered the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with Arianna Bocco and Betsy Rodgers representing the studio.