Foxtel Upfront - Binge’s first feature film brings Paul Kelly’s song to life

By AdNews | 26 October 2023
Hugo Weaving.

Binge has confirmed the production of its first original feature film, How to Make Gravy, an adaptation of Paul Kelly’s Australian song about an inmate writing a letter home as his family prepare to celebrate Christmas without him.

The song, since its release in 1996, has achieved near-mythological status in the Australian musical canon and cemented itself in the Christmas traditions of millions of families.

As production gets underway on the Gold Coast, key cast set to star in the film include Daniel Henshall (Snowtown, Mystery Road: Origin) and Hugo Weaving (Love Me, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), with Brenton Thwaites (Titans, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Mr Inbetween, The Bikeriders), Kate Mulvany (The Twelve, Hunters, Lambs of God), and French actress Agathe Rouselle (Titane) also recruited.

The film will also feature cameo performances from Australian musicians, including powerhouse Adam Briggs and rising rap talent Dallas Woods.

How to Make Gravy was adapted for the screen by award-winning musician Meg Washington and Nick Waterman, who will also direct.

Waterman and Washington will produce alongside Hamish Lewis and Academy Award-nominated producer, Schuyler Weiss (Elvis).

The project was commissioned by the Foxtel Group for Binge and financed with support by Screen Queensland. Fifth Season will distribute the film internationally.

Executive producers are Michael Brooks for WBITVP and Susannah George with Alison Hurbert-Burns and Amanda Laing. Head of Scripted for the Foxtel Group is Lana Greenhalgh.

“It’s a great privilege to bring Paul Kelly’s iconic song to the screen," says Alison Hurbert-Burns, executive director Binge and commissioning & content Foxtel Group.

"I’ve listened to the song for decades, often on my own Christmas road trip, conjuring up the characters, wondering if Stella made her flight and if the brothers made it down from Queensland. Come 2024, at last we’ll know.

“And with an all-star cast, and such talented creatives in Nick and Meg and our production partners at Warner Bros, we can’t wait to share it with Australia, in what we hope will become a beloved addition to Gravy Day, for many years to come.”

How to Make Gravy is the first local feature film for Warner Bros. International Production Australia.

"It is a privilege to adapt Paul’s iconic song into a film we know will live in the hearts and homes of Aussie families for years to come," says Michael Brooks, managing director and head of Studios Australia and New Zealand, Warner Bros. Discovery.

"Alongside Binge and our other investment partners, we are grateful to Screen Queensland for their ongoing commitment to support Australian stories and local talent.”

How to Make Gravy is commissioned by the Foxtel Group for Binge and will also be available on Foxtel.

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