Hollywood superstar Clint Eastwood (pictured above) is to play NRL coaching legend Wayne Bennett in a new blockbuster movie that will extend Eastwood’s fabled Spaghetti Western ‘dollars’ triology.
The star’s production outfit, the Malpaso Company, has inked a deal with Bennett to bring to the silver screen his latest book, For a Fistful of Dollars Less (pictured), that has only just been released to explain Bennett’s side of the story after his shock sacking from the Brisbane Broncos earlier this week.
The deal is expected to prove a multi-million dollar windfall for Bennett, who has reportedly been struggling financially of late, surviving only on his coaching fees at the Broncos and with the England national rugby league side.
“Mr Eastwood is incredibly excited about securing the rights to this wonderful story and plans to produce, direct and star in the project as well as write the music score for it,” the star’s Hollywood agent Sam Spade said. “He’s also hoping to write a few extra scenes, including a particularly poignant one where he talks to an empty chair.
“He thinks it’s the classic little-guy-versus the-greedy-corporate-monster tale writ large and he’s promised Wayne that he’ll stick very much to the storyline as outlined in For a Fistful of Dollars Less.
“Of course it can’t be about rugby league because no-one in the United States would have a clue about that. And movies about football coaches have been done to death.
“It will be set in a struggling town in the American wild west where Clint’s character Wayne Bennett has one year left on his contract to protect the townsfolk from marauding wild broncos that are eating out the pasture lands surrounding the town and thereby threatening livelihoods.
“Christopher Walken will play Anthony Seibold who is employed by the town committee to control a plague of rabbits that are also ruining ranch incomes.
“Anthony declares he’s also got the skills to bring the broncos to heal and so all hell breaks loose. The townsfolk are forced to take sides as this ‘personal range war’ explodes and threatens the town’s very existence.
“It’s going to be an Oscar winner. Think High Noon, Fury, The Big Country and Mousehunt all rolled into one.”
One Malpaso Company executive told The Bug that the movie in all other respects would be quintessentially Australian, with local support actors and dinky-di Australian locations.
“Clint’s love interest will definitely be an Australian actress. We’ll take a look at Judy Davis, especially for her amazing role in Mystery Road, although she’s probably about 40 years too old to be realistic in the part,” he said.
“Other established or up-and-coming actresses in the frame include Susie Porter, Rose Byrne, Portia de Rossi, and Annabel Crabb.”
The executive told The Bug the movie will feature several cameos.
“We’ve managed to sign Wally Lewis. Well, sort of. We called Wally in to do a screen test which I confess didn’t go all that well,” he said.
“In the script Wally has only one line consisting of just three words, and two of them are expletives. But he still needed an autocue for the screen test.
“We’re going to work around that problem by not using Wally himself but instead use his statue from outside Suncorp Stadium and a shitload of CGI.
“NRL chief, former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, has already been on the phone touting his show reel and asking for a role.
“At first I thought we could accommodate him because he was asking for a simple walk-on role. But, no, he wanted the Walken role.
“So we had to disappoint him about the possibility of taking a starring role, but I’ve had a look at his show reel and if we were after someone to play an annoying, loudmouth, self-promoting public official like the town’s mayor who perennially delivers insincere apologies for fuck-ups of his own making, we’d sign him today.
“Peter also took the opportunity to send me some of the books he’s written with a view to having them turned into films.
“But I politely told him they’re really not the sort of adaptations we’d be looking for and suggested he try some well-know producers or directors, like Alan Smithee.”
The Malpaso Company executive also said the studio would ensure all the principle shooting of the film was done in Australia.
“We’re looking for a typical Australian town that’s got plenty of late 19th century charm.
“But it also must be a worn-down, dead-end sort of place with nothing much going for it and with a clearly bugger-all future – a place of quiet desperation and acceptance.
“We’ve already got location scouts out in the field, looking at Rockhampton and Ipswich.”