Xavier Samuel has landed the title role in AiF member Morgan O'Neill's Banjo Paterson project, Waltzing Matilda
Filming is expected to take place next year in the outback town of Winton, in central west Queensland - the real life place where Paterson penned one of Australia's most loved national ballads.
The film will follow the story of Paterson, a bush poet, who visited the town in 1895, and will focus on some key events that occurred in the town, including the sheep shearer's strike of the time and the death of a "jolly swagman".
The film will also delve into Paterson's relationship with his fiancée, Sarah Riley, and their friendship with Christina Macpherson - a woman who history credits with being an inspiration for the song, 'Waltzing Matilda' - which became known as Australia's unofficial national anthem.
Originally titled "Banjo and Matilda", Producer Bill Leimbach says the name change, along with several re-writes of the script, were done in order to give the film a more international appeal.
Samuel is the first to be attached to the project. A search is currently underway to cast the roles of Sarah, Christina and the Swagman.
The project will reunite Samuel and O'Neill, who previously worked together on the 2013 surf drama, Drift
, starring Sam Worthington.
Samuel, who broke through internationally after he starred in the Twilight franchise, recently completed filming on World War II thriller Fury, opposite Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. The film will be in theatres in November.
Congrats, Xavier and Morgan!
WALTZING MATILDA - POSTER (Source)