SYDNEY – Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie may be heading to Australia if the government is successful in bringing “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo” Down Under, it emerged Friday.
Pitt, one half of the power couple dubbed “Brangelina”, is being sought for the lead role of Ned Land and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph said industry sources indicated he would bring his family with him to shoot in Australia.
Arts Minister Simon Crean said he was meeting with Disney executives on Friday to attempt to secure the blockbuster, which would reportedly be the biggest production ever made in Australia.
“We’ve still got to seal the deal,” Crean told commercial radio before the meeting. “The deal is not yet done, but it’d be fantastic if we can lock it in.”
The remake of the 1954 film starring Kirk Douglas, based on the novel by Jules Verne, is ready to go into pre-production and Disney staff have scouted locations in New South Wales and Queensland, the Telegraph said.
The federal government is understood to have offered film makers a one-off financial incentive to make the movie in Australia, and is hoping state governments will do the same.
“Let’s understand there’s 2,000 jobs involved in this and it’s also, I think, a great testament to the skill and the ability of our production teams,” Crean said.
In 2012, the government gave the makers of the Hugh Jackman movie “The Wolverine” a Aus$12.8 million incentive to ensure that it was made in Australia to boost the local film industry.
Pitt, who rose to prominence in 1991’s “Thelma and Louise” and went on to star in “Ocean’s Eleven”, was reportedly offered the lead role by director David Fincher, who he worked with on “Fight Club”.