Geoffrey Rush to star in 'Storm Boy' remake


Filming for the remake of iconic South Australian film 'Storm Boy' is set to begin next week.

The story of a young boy and his pelican friend has held a special place in the hearts of many Australians since the Children's book was published in 1964.

Written by late South Australian author Colin Thiele, the much loved tale was set on the scenic coast of South Australia.

South Australian Minister for Arts Jack Snelling compared it only to Star Wars as his most memorable childhood story.

"My generation of South Australians grew up on the story of 'Storm Boy'," Mr Snelling said. 

The book first came to life on film in 1976.

Storm Boy feature film cast members (L-R) Jai Courtney, Finn Little and Geoffrey Rush in Adelaide, Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Now, more than 40 years later, 'Mr Percival' is about to fly back into our lives, in a contemporary retelling of the iconic film.

"I admire their courage in taking on this film, because if they muck it up - they will be chased out of South Australia," SA Arts Minister, Mr Snelling joked. 

'Storm Boy' follows the life of Mike Kingley - a child who sparks up unlikely friendships with Indigenous man 'Fingerbone Bill' and a pelican affectionately named 'Mr Percival'.

Australian-born Hollywood actors Geoffrey Rush and Jai Courtney have been cast as leads in the film. 

Geoffrey Rush will play an older Mike Kingley sharing a nostalgic look back at his childhood.

Eleven-year-old Queensland actor Finn Little will star as the young Mike Kingley.

Mr Rush joked that when he got the script he thought the production team wanted him to play a different leading role.

"I played a pelican in Finding Nemo, and when I got the script I thought, 'Oh wow, I like a challenge', and the opportunity to play a live-action Mr Percival was a very big draw card.

"And then, of course, I realised that they wanted me to play an old guy," Rush said.

The man behind the remake, director Shawn Seet, said the original version inspired him to pursue a career in the creative arts.

"It was one of the first films I saw when I was a kid, when I first came to Australia, and it's been one of the films that made me want to get into film making," Mr Seet said.

The highly anticipated re-make will be filmed on location across regional South Australia over the coming months and is expected to hit cinemas in Australia and New Zealand in 2018. 

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