Justin Kurzel, the True History of The Kelly Gang and Snowtown director, is reportedly making a film about the Port Arthur mass murderer, Martin Bryant.
Bryant perpetrated Australia’s worst mass shooting in modern history by a single person in 1996 at the historic Tasmanian site, killing 35 people and wounding 23. The tragedy was the catalyst for reform to gun laws in Australia, with the Federal Government compulsorily acquiring more than 640,000 firearms afterwards.
The movie’s name is currently listed as Nitram – Martin backwards – though the final film will apparently not name the killer, and instead use fictional names or titles.
Per The Sydney Morning Herald, the film will also not depict any of the murders, and instead focus on the days leading up to the incident “in an attempt to understand why and how this atrocity occurred”, a film bio says.
US actor Caleb Landry Jones, known for his roles in Twin Peaks, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and Get Out, will play Bryant.
Local actors fill out the rest of the cast – Judy Davis will play Bryant’s mother, Anthony LaPaglia his father, while Essie Davis (recently seen in Babyteeth) will play “a wealthy woman who befriends the young man”.
The newspaper report says the film has been shooting for three weeks already in Geelong, Victoria rather than in Tasmania – supposedly to avoid igniting controversy in the state where the massacre occurred.
Nitram is being made as a Stan original, but will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival next year, and receive a limited theatrical run before hitting the streaming service.