Networks say no to Julia Gillard telemovie
Exclusive: A telemovie featuring Rachel Griffiths as the former PM will now be re-worked as a feature film.
EXCLUSIVE: TV networks have all rejected a telemovie project with Rachel Griffiths cast as Julia Gillard, which will now be envisioned as a feature film.
“No Australian broadcaster wants to tell the story of Australia’s first female Prime Minister,” said producer Richard Keddie, who has previously produced the Hawke and Curtin telemovies.
“All the broadcasters said ‘No way’ to the Julia film. I got told unequivocally I couldn’t even get Hawke or Curtin made these days.
“One broadcaster told me ‘Everyone hates Julia Gillard, nobody is remotely interested in her.’
“But I believe the opposite. I believe there is so much interest in the truth.”
Both Hawke and Curtin were ratings hits and went on to win a Logie and an AFI Award respectively.
Keddie, who also worked for both Julia Gillard & Kevin Rudd, has also produced documentaries on former Victorian premier John Brumby, and interviews with premiers Joan Kirner & John Cain. He also directed 2013 election ads for Labor and ACTU campaigns.
But delays to the telemovie, originally based on the book “The Stalking of Julia Gillard” by Kerry-Anne Walsh, have led to extensive research and a much bigger narrative.
“I have a much better story now. The best story I’ve ever seen – I love it. I’m hoping now to get into finance later this year and shoot early next year. Now it is theatrical it means I don’t have editorial controls on me from broadcasters,” he says.
“It’s about us. It’s the most incredible insight into who we are as a people.
“It’s about how everyone treated the first female Prime Minister –on every level: the media, Rudd, Abbott, the people and the Labor Party. Nobody comes out smelling of roses from it.
“It’s kind of a Lord of the Flies story. It was a blood sport to kill Julia. But there is so much more than that.”
Next week interest in the Gillard and Rudd feud will undoubtedly surge, with ABC’s documentary series, The Killing Season, by Sarah Ferguson. Keddie is convinced his project takes a different approach.
“My story is a lot bigger than politicians fighting each other and I hope the ABC’s is as well.”
Rachel Griffiths remains attached to the project, with other key actors also attached.