Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
EXCLUSIVE: Sullivan Stapleton and Ryan Kwanten will play ex-cons who set fire to a nightclub, killing 15 people in Cut Snake, an Australian thriller to be produced by Matchbox Pictures. Also attached is Rachael Taylor, who will play the girlfriend of Kwanten’s character. Matchbox’s Tony Ayres, who was the series producer on the TV drama series The Slapand is an exec producer on the U.S. remake, will direct. The script by Blake Ayshford is inspired by a real-life incident in 1973 when Brisbane’s Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub fire was torched, killing 15 people. EOne will handle international sales and its Australian subsidiary eOne Hopscotch will release in Oz. Producer Trevor Blainey, who is co-producing with Michael McMahon, tells Deadline shooting will start in mid-2013 and they are in the latter stages of assembling the financing. The narrative follows Stapleton’s character as he gets out of jail and persuades Kwanten, who is about to get married to Taylor and is trying to go straight, to pull off a robbery. Stapleton is on a roll after starring in Gangster Squad, playing the lead in 300: Rise Of An Empire and the co-lead in Cinemax/Sky TV’s Strike Back. Stapleton is repped in Australia by United Management, Kwanten by RGM and Taylor by Marquee Management.