February 28, 2018
Wooroolin and other locations around the South Burnett will feature in a new $15 million Hollywood movie about the Battle of Long Tan.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday morning on Twitter that key filming locations for the provisionally titled, “Danger Close”, would be around Kingaroy and Nerang.
southburnett.com.au understands the paulownia plantation near Wooroolin and the Wooroolin Wetlands will be used during the filming, and Wooroolin Memorial Hall could be used at times as a base during production.
“Danger Close” will feature Australian actor Travis Fimmel who starred as Ragnar Lothbrok in the TV series Vikings.
Premier Palaszczuk made the announcement from Los Angeles where she is winding up a trade mission.
Mrs Palaszczuk foreshadowed the news on Tuesday, saying she had been “working to secure another blockbuster for Queensland film industry and jobs. Positive meetings with film studios today and major film announcement tomorrow. Stay tuned”.
“Danger Close” will be made by award-winning Australian producer Martin Walsh.
IMDb lists Kriv Stenders as director – well-known for his work on “Red Dog” and the TV mini-series “Wake In Fright” – and gives an estimated budget of $US15 million.
Pre-production will start in March with shooting from the end of April, possibly around Anzac Day.
Premier Palaszczuk said the State Government was proud to support the production.
“As Queenslanders pause to reflect on the sacrifices of our soldiers over the past century, a film crew will be capturing their very personal stories of courage, honour, mateship and loss,” Mrs Palaszczuk said.
“I was moved to hear that Martin, himself a former Australian Special Forces commando, is planning a major Anzac Day event during the shoot, bringing Long Tan veterans, cast, crew and locals together for a special memorial service.”
Member for Nanango, Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said she would welcome any film to be shot in Kingaroy.
“I’m just really pleased that the Premier has now jumped on the South Burnett bandwagon, exactly like I have been pushing for years,” she said.
“Kingaroy is a great spot for any business but we need to make sure that any of these films actually deliver long-term jobs, not just a short sugar hit.
“Let’s hope that the local drama club – we have a fabulous local drama club out there – that they get a shot at being extras and also that local businesses are supported.
“I would really encourage the production company to make sure that they utilise all of the businesses around Kingaroy, be it for food, transport or the extras that they may need.”
Wooroolin councillor Ros Heit said the fact the production was coming to the area was “fantastic”.
“It is fantastic for all of the South Burnett and it will put our region on the map for a much wider audience,” she said.
The screenplay was written by Australian screenwriter and director Stuart Beattie, who wrote “Pirates of Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, “Collateral” and “Australia”.
He also wrote and directed “Tomorrow, When the War Began” and “I, Frankenstein”.
The Premier said the production would employ about 120 Queensland crew members, offer 30 principal cast and bit-part roles, and strengthen the State’s position as a serious movie-making destination.
Veterans from Australia’s deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq are also expected to be hired during the filming.
Danger Close is a collaborative project between Martin Walsh’s production house, Red Dune Productions, and John and Michael Schwarz’s Deeper Water.
Historical footnote: Eighteen Australian soldiers were killed and 24 wounded when D Company 6RAR engaged Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation not far from the Australian base at Nui Dat on August 18, 1966. It is Australia’s most recognised battle from the Vietnam War.