‘Chopper’ to come back to cinemas with bonus footage for 20th anniversary

“It’s easy to forget just how controversial the idea of the film was"

Cult Australian crime film Chopper will return to cinemas in August with bonus footage to mark its 20th anniversary.

The film starred actor Eric Bana as the late Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read, a convicted criminal who went on to profiteer from his violent past in a series of semi-autobiographical books. It was a breakout dramatic role for Bana, who began his career as a stand-up comedian.

The 20th anniversary edition will be digitally remastered, and launch in over 150 cinemas nationwide for two weeks from August 26. The film has never been on streaming services before.

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Watch a trailer for the new edition of Chopper below.

Bana told News Corp he was “proud” of the film’s standing two decades later.

“It’s easy to forget just how controversial the idea of the film was, there were a lot of people really angry we were even making the film in the first place. It was a real risk, we didn’t really know what it would do,” he said.

“We didn’t win Best Film that year, it had plenty of detractors, but it’s far more important for a film to have longevity than to have a massive opening.

“Any time you can be part of a character that lives on for more than five minutes is a privileged opportunity. I’ve never not been grateful for it.”

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Chopper was also a passion project of the late Michael Gudinski, as his company Mushroom Pictures co-produced the film, insisting that it was not censored to avoid an R18 classification.

Eric Bana as Mark "Chopper" Read in the 2000 film 'Chopper'
Eric Bana as Mark “Chopper” Read in the 2000 film ‘Chopper’. Photo supplied.

“Bringing Chopper to the screen was one of Dad’s proudest achievements,”
Matt Gudinski, CEO of Mushroom Group, said in a press release. “He loved the fact that this Australian movie had become a cult classic around the world, as well as launching the Hollywood career of Eric Bana.”

“Who knows if the film could have been without Michael Gudinski and his conviction,” Bana told News Corp.

“[Director] Andrew [Dominik] got to make exactly the film he wanted to make, it wasn’t compromised. The film Andrew wanted to make is the one you see and that requires guts and backers there to support the filmmaker and the vision. It’s a great legacy for Michael and his attitude to backing talent.”

Information on tickets is expected to be released soon.

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