Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Macdonald (Photo credit: Shutterstock).
Garrett Hedlund and Kelly Macdonald are in the frame to play the leads in Dirt Music, Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of the Tim Winton novel.
According to Deadline, they are in final negotiations with the producers, Aquarius Films’ Angie Fielder and Finola Dwyer of the UK’s Wildgaze Films.
Macdonald will play Georgie, a restless, fragile 40-year-old who has an illicit romance with mysterious young poacher Luther Fox (Hedlund). There is no word yet on the casting of Georgie’s partner Jim Buckridge, who discovers the tryst, triggering a chase across the Outback.
As far back as 2006, Phillip Noyce was set to direct the drama with Rachel Weisz and Heath Ledger as the leads.
The screenplay is by Englishman Jack Thorne, whose credits include Wonder and the miniseries His Dark Materials, National Treasure and The Last Panthers.
Shooting is due to start in Western Australia soon with funding from Screen Australia, Screenwest and the UK’s Film4. Universal Pictures will distribute in Australia.
Wildgaze Films’ Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey were Oscar-nominated for Brooklyn and An Education. Last year they produced Their Finest.
Hedlund’s credits include Mudbound, Pan and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. He just finished shooting Triple Frontier, a Netflix movie about five friends who re-unite to take down a South American drug lord, co-starring Charlie Hunnam, Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac, directed by J. C. Chandor.
Macdonald, who starred in Goodbye Christopher Robin, T2 Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire, is filming the BBC One/Netflix thriller Giri/Haji, playing a forensics lecturer and policewoman who forms an unlikely friendship with a Japanese detective searching for his brother who has become entangled with the Yakuza.