October 3, 2013
Greg Mclean, creator of Wolf Creek and the upcoming sequel, is determined to avoid being pigeonholed as the guy who makes scary movies about a serial killer.
As a writer, director and executive producer, Mclean is developing a raft of projects which span diverse genres and should demonstrate he’s equally adept at family films as horror/thrillers.
The filmmaker has joined the agency CAA after leaving WMA, is fielding several offers and hopes to settle on his next directing assignment within a few weeks.
Hugo Weaving is attached to star in One Foot Wrong as the father of a five-year-old girl who makes friends and communicates with inanimate objects like trees and spoons. Mclean wrote the screenplay based on a novel by Sophie Laguna and he will executive produce, working with producers Bianca Martino and Ayisha Davies. Glendyn Ivin will direct the horror movie after he shoots the eight hour Gallipoli miniseries for the Nine Network and Southern Star.
The most ambitious project in scope and budget on his development slate is 3D animated feature Piccolo- The Dolphin Prince, which he co-wrote with the late Chris Wheeler and will direct. His co-producer is Alan Lindsay of Western Australian-based Vue Group and the development has been supported by Screen Australia, ScreenWest and Film Victoria. Lindsay is in China looking for a co-financier. Most of the animation will be created at Vue’s studio in Bunbury.
Mclean got the idea for the film after watching a baby dolphin while on holidays at Shark Bay in WA. The tale follows Piccolo, the smallest dolphin of his tribe, as he leads a disparate group of friends across the ocean to find a place where dolphin and man live in harmony.
“If your name is associated with a terrifying horror film it’s hard to break out into other things,” he tells IF. “It’s a double-edged sword making something that’s successful. If my first film had been a powerful family drama I’d be [typecast as] the drama guy. I develop things in all genres because I want to make all types of films, so I pretend not to worry about it.”
Wolf Creek 2, which Roadshow will release on February 20, got mostly glowing reviews at the world premiere in the Venice Film Festival. US distributors saw the film at a market screening at the Toronto International Film Festival and Mclean is confident a US deal will close soon.
The sequel follows John Jarratt’s laconic, grinning pig shooter Mick Taylor as he encounters three backpackers, a Pom and two Germans, played by Ryan Corr, Shannon Ashlyn and Philippe Klaus in the Outback.
After the first Wolf Creek, Mclean met many people who told him they hadn’t seen it because they feared it would be too terrifying. So he’s designed the follow-up to appeal equally to fans of the original and to cinemagoers who aren’t into intense, extreme horror.
Mclean and horror novelist Aaron Sterns wrote the screenplay. Tying in with the film’s release will be two Wolf Creek novels, both prequels. Origin is written by Sterns and Mclean and Desolation Game by Mclean and Brett McBean. The filmmaker is hoping for a third film and two more novels, depending on the response to Wolf Creek 2.
Via his banner Wolf Creek Pictures, he plans to co-produce Territorial, a hybrid Western/horror/thriller/action film from writer-director Matthew Holmes, with Odin’s Eye Productions’ Michael Favelle. “We’ve locked the script and are in financing / packaging mode,” says Favelle.
Mclean is collaborating with actor-writer-director Abe Forsythe on an untitled black comedy set around the 2005 Cronulla riots in Sydney; it’ll be Forsythe’s second turn as a feature director following the 2003 Ned Kelly comedy-Western Ned.