The Australian crime thriller is providing career breakthroughs.
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27 Apr 2011 - 11:19 AM  UPDATED 9 Sep 2015 - 2:27 PM

Considering Animal Kingdom flopped in the US, earning a tad more than $US1 million in a theatrical run which lasted 31 weeks, the crime thriller has given a major boost to the careers of all the principal cast.

The Oscar nomination for Jacki Weaver brought the movie to the attention of the Hollywood studios and independent distributors (it was released in the US by Sony Classics) and almost certainly helped Jacki and James Frecheville score their first roles in US movies.

Perhaps surprisingly, the one key creative person who's yet to cash in on the film's high profile is director-writer David Michôd. He's yet to confirm his next directing assignment but has hinted he'll be answering the siren call of Hollywood.

"It's not just the resources that are available to you there, the energy of that place is intoxicating as well," he told The Guardian. "My head is filled with Australian stories, but at the same time, there's this incredible window of opportunity, and I do feel compelled to climb through it while it's open.”

Meanwhile, Michôd will be hoping that Hesher, the quirky US comedy-drama he co-wrote with director Spencer Susser, connects with audiences when it opens on limited screens in the US on May 13, handled by indie distributor Wreckin Hill Entertainment.

Boasting a top-line cast headed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu, Rainn Wilson and Piper Laurie, it's the tale of an unhinged drifter who takes up residence in a family's garage uninvited and helps them deal with loss in unconventional ways.

Universal announced last week that Weaver will appear alongside Jason Segel, Emily Blunt and Rhys Ifans in Five-Year Engagement for producer Judd Apatow and director Nicholas Stoller. Co-written by Segel and Stoller, the comedy will chart the ups and downs of an engaged couple's relationship.

Frecheville, so impressive in his debut in Animal Kingdom, is co-starring in The First Time, a teen romance from writer-director Jonathan Kasdan for Castle Rock Entertainment. The cast includes Brittany Robertson, Dylan O'Brien, Victoria Justice and Adam G. Sevani.

No stranger to Hollywood, Ben Mendelsohn has two films in post-production: Joel Schumacher's Trespass, a thriller featuring Nicolas Cage, Cam Gigandet and Nicole Kidman; and Gary McKendry's The Killer Elite, an action-thriller filmed in Australia with Clive Owen and Jason Statham.

He's now shooting Cogan's Trade, a mob drama set in New Orleans, directed by Andrew Dominik with a stellar cast headed by Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Javier Bardem, Sam Rockwell, Casey Affleck, Mark Ruffalo and Richard Jenkins.

Joel Edgerton's busy roster includes Lionsgate's Warrior, in which he and Tom Hardy play brothers who compete in a mixed martial arts tournament; The Thing, Universal's prequel to John Carpenter's 1982 classic set in Antarctica; and The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a Disney fantasy which features Joel and Jennifer Garner as a childless couple who, unable to conceive, bury their wishes for a baby in a box in their backyard and wake up one day to find a baby.

Luke Ford, who had a taste of Hollywood success in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, co-stars with Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor and Keisha Castle-Hughes in Kriv Stenders' Australian family film Red Dog, which Roadshow will open here in August.

Sullivan Stapleton hasn't cracked Hollywood yet but he'll be seen alongside Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe and Frances O'Connor in The Hunter, Daniel Nettheim's drama about a mercenary from Europe who's sent to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.