Monty Franklin, John Cleese, and Jim Jefferies
To star in the family action adventure
THE GREAT EMU WAR
To be directed by Yaniv Raz
Monty Franklin (“Real Rob,” “New Girl”), John Cleese (Monty Python, A Fish Called Wanda), and Jim Jefferies (“Legit,” “The Jim Jefferies Show”) will star in the family action adventure comedy THE GREAT EMU WAR. Yaniv Raz (Dr. Bird’s Advice For Sad Poets, Things Fall Apart) will direct from a screenplay by Monty Franklin. The film is being produced by Robyn Kershaw (Bran Nue Dae, Seriously Red) with Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP). Kylie Bracknell (Irreverent, Fist of Fury Noongar Daa) will co-produce. Casting on the lead female roles is currently underway. World-renowned musician, producer, and animal rights activist, Moby, will create some original music for the film. Production is scheduled to begin in May 2022.
Set in Western Australia in 1932, THE GREAT EMU WAR is a hilarious family action-adventure story inspired by ridiculous true events, when farmers in the Campion region were beset by flocks of invading emus – destroying their fences, eating their crops and generally wreaking havoc. Facing devastating losses, the farmers turned to the Australian army, who declared war on the birds…and lost!
The idea originated from a popular stand-up routine that actor and comedian Monty Franklin performed to live audiences that evolved into the concept for an epic action adventure with a heartwarming father/son storyline and poignant theme about man vs. nature so relevant today. The film is set in the Campion district of Western Australia, on the lands of the Noongar people, one of the largest Aboriginal cultural groups in Australia. The feature will be shot locally by Australian crews and include Australian, international and local actors. The Emus will be created from a combination of in camera, CGI and puppetry.
Director, Yaniv Raz, who was inspired by a wide range of genres from action adventures such as “Raiders of the Lost Arc” to classic family comedies such as “Paddington” and “Babe” said: “I’m grateful that our wise emu overlords have seen fit to allow me the opportunity to blend satire with slapstick and tell a poignant story about humanity’s war against nature. I couldn’t be more delighted to helm a picture that is simultaneously so entertaining, meaningful, and relevant.”
Mister Smith Entertainment’s Founder and CEO David Garrett stated: “We are really excited to be working with the Village Roadshow team and such a talented director in Yaniv, as well as a mob of extraordinarily ‘Emusing’ comedians.”
Producer Robyn Kershaw added: “The bold comedy in The Great Emu War pairs perfectly with the visual splendour of the Western Australian landscape – it’s mind boggling, it’s striking and it’s surprising!”
Co-producer Kylie Bracknell commented: “It is audacious and fitting that the first big Hollywood film on Noongar land is a comedy celebrating how Country itself can turn the tables on imperialism. Amidst the calamity, a very special female character will emerge and do things we haven’t yet seen in any feature film.”
Village Roadshow Pictures’ EVPs of Feature Film, Tristen Tuckfield and Jillian Apfelbaum, added: “The Great Emu War goes beyond the classic tale of humans vs nature. The film, brought to life by the incredible filmmakers and top-tier talent, will take the viewers on a wild ride from start to finish. We are excited to bring this story to audiences worldwide.”
Monty Franklin is an Australian-born stand-up comedian and actor based in Los Angeles. He headlines all over the world and is currently touring the US. He has also toured with Rob Schneider and Joe Rogan. Monty appears in Netflix’s “Real Rob“- now going into its 3rd season and has had roles on Fox’s New Girl, Hulu’s “Becoming Bond” & “Hollywood Darlings.” Monty was recently honored with being the first Australian to have their name added to the wall of The Comedy Store in Hollywood.
Jim Jefferies (Legit, FX; The Jim Jefferies Show, Comedy Central) is a Sydney native and one of the most popular and respected comedians of his generation, entertaining audiences across the globe with his provocative, belief-challenging, and thought-provoking comedy. Jim was honored as Stand-Up Comedian of the Year at the Just for Laughs Festival in summer 2019. At the end of 2019 he started the Oblivious tour in 2020 where he toured all around Europe and North America. Jim’s ninth stand-up special Intolerant came out on Netflix last year and he currently hosts his own podcast I Don’t Know About That with Jim Jefferies.
John Cleese co-created Monty Python’s Flying Circus which conquered the world with four cult TV series and four hugely successful films. After leaving Python, Cleese created Basil Fawlty in “Fawlty Towers,” one of the most successful TV series ever. Cleese starred in and co-wrote the hit feature A Fish Called Wanda, and reunited the team for Fierce Creatures. Cleese’s film credits as an actor include The Great Muppet Caper, Time Bandits, Privates on Parade, Silverado, Clockwise, Terry Jones’s Erik the Viking, Eric Idle’s Splitting Heirs, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Jungle Book, The Wind in the Willows, The Out-of-Towners, and Rat Race. Cleese has also appeared in both the James Bond, and Harry Potter movie series. He also won an Emmy Award for his guest role on the comedy series “Cheers,” and received another Emmy nomination for a guest stint on “3rd Rock From the Sun. In 2017 he starred in the BBC series ‘Hold the Sunset’ alongside Alison Steadman and filmed a second series in 2018. Cleese is also a successful author.
Moby is a musician, songwriter, singer, and producer who has sold over 20 million records worldwide. Considered to be one of the most important electronic dance music figures of the ‘90s, whose crossover success helped bring the sound into the mainstream and established him as a progenitor to the crop of superstar DJs that would define the next wave of popular electronic music. Moby is also an animal rights activist.