Stan boards Justin Kurzel’s ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

Russell Crowe in ‘True History of the Kelly Gang.’ (Photo: Ben King)

Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang is now officially a Stan original Australian production and will be released in cinemas and on the streamer this summer.

The launch date and the release window are yet to be revealed by Stan or the distributor Transmission Films – but it’s fair to assume Stan won’t have to abide by the usual 90-day hold back after the theatrical debut.

In a statement issued by Stan, Kurzel said: “I am thrilled in the boldness and daring by Stan to embrace our ambitious film. For Australians to see our take on Peter Carey’s extraordinary book in cinemas and on Stan over the summer is very exciting. I hope as many eyes as possible get the opportunity to see a film the makers are deeply proud of.”

Adapted by Shaun Grant from Carey’s novel, the bushranger saga stars George MacKay as Ned Kelly with Russell Crowe as his accomplice Harry Power, Nicholas Hoult as Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick, Charlie Hunnam as Sergeant O’Neil and Essie Davis as Ned’s mother Ellen. The cast includes Thomasin McKenzie, Earl Cave, Claudia Karvan and Jillian Nguyen in her screen debut as Molly Kane.

IFC Films bought North American rights to the film produced by Porchlight Films’ Liz Watts, Daybreak Pictures’ Hal Vogel, Kurzel and Paul Ranford before the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received rave reviews.

Essie Davis and Orlando Schwerdt as the young Ned Kelly.

Chronicling the younger years of Ned Kelly’s life leading up to his death, the plot explores the blurred boundaries between good and evil and the motivations behind the demise of the infamous outlaw – with a fractured love story between mother and son at its heart.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “True History of the Kelly Gang is a remarkable and often surprising film with enthralling performances expertly captured by Kurzel. After the stellar TIFF world premiere, I’m really looking forward to Australians being able to enjoy this home-grown story.”

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward added: “The story of Ned Kelly has become a quintessential part of Australian culture and Justin’s ambitious new take, combined with a standout cast of award-winning Australian and international performers, is guaranteed to get people talking.”

Screen Australia was the major investor with La Cinefacture and Film4 in association with Film Victoria, Asia Film Investment Group and Memento Films International.