Stuart Beattie Adapting and Directing Australia's Tomorrow
by Alex Billington
June 15, 2009
Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Stuart Beattie will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Tomorrow, When the War Began. The novel is the first in a popular series of seven books written by Australian John Marsden first published in 1994. The Tomorrow Series, as it is known, details the insurgency efforts of a band of Aussie teenagers fighting off an enemy invasion and foreign occupation of their homeland, similar to Red Dawn. Beattie, who has read and loves the books, is writing the screenplay and is preparing to shoot down in Australia in September. "It's coming of age in a war zone," he explains.
Paramount Vantage is co-financing along with Omnilab Media, who will handle the sizable visual effects through its company Iloura, which worked on Australia. The filmmakers plan to make a trilogy of features from the first three books and then, if they're successful, spin the next four off into a TV series. The main character is a teen named Ellie Linton, who struggles to become a fierce leader even while navigating relationships with the seven other teenagers in her group. The Tomorrow Series is one of the most popular Australian series ever published, however, none of the books ever really big very popular here in the US.
As for that comparison to Red Dawn, even Beattie knows about it. "I don't want to make Red Dawn," he tells THR. "Do you remember when The Full Monty and Striptease were coming out together? They came out within months as the exact same premise -- the parent strips for money so they can see their kid… We're more like the Full Monty version." But it's also about a bit of Australian pride. "Australia hasn't made an action movie, I think, since Mad Max, so it's the opportunity to do something in the biggest sense. And it's only doable because there is this great property out there that everyone in Australia knows." Sounds good.
Reader Feedback - 23 Comments
i remember reading these books when i was younger - they were quite good. cant remember who the 'foreign invaders' were though... probably just some generic 'foreigners' / 'other'. interesting idea. not sure it will pay off, particularly in the US).
benjoi on Jun 15, 2009
if its basically about a war going into Australia and teens shooting a bunch of invaders then ill see it lol
zach on Jun 15, 2009
That's always been the major problem with an adaptation on the series. The novel never confirms who the enemy is in the books, it's just a foreign language speaking nation. So you know no matter what country they choose for the invaders, they are going to be offending someone. I only read the first 2 maybe 3 books, so I can't remember all that well. That was years ago.
jules on Jun 15, 2009
I don't know about this I mean from what I remember it's to similar to Red Dawn and it's not like the foreign occupiers in the book because then Indonesia or China will think it's representing them.
d1rEct on Jun 15, 2009
SORRY I meant to say can appear to be of Asian origin
d1rEct on Jun 15, 2009
DAMN IT!!! Never mind I am forgetting how to type, sorry.
d1rEct on Jun 16, 2009
I always felt like he implied it was China, but it could've been any asian country. The important point about the book was that it detailed an actual invasion and colonization of Australia, and it seemed like it drew many comparisons to the Israel - Palestine conflict. Should be good 😀
Pebbles on Jun 16, 2009
Sounds good.Tomorrow, When the War Began.!! I think it's in China.
led screen on Jun 16, 2009
Nice, been hoping for a movie adaption of the Tomorrow series. But I hope they stay true to the books, it's more than simply "about a war going into Australia and teens shooting a bunch of invaders", it contains survival against all odds, love, hate, sorrow, fear and togetherness. Oh and while some might be offended, common - it's a fiction movie, nothing to get fired up about. *SPOILER* (slightly) The Tomorrow Series are about a few teenagers that go camping. When they return their homes are ravaged or otherwise plundered - their parents, or anyone else for that matter, is missing. They find out that Australia has been invaded and they struggle together to do everything they can to rescue their parents and get their normal lives back. Ellie is the main character as she is the one who writes the diary/story that you read, so you read everything from her perspective. Wont go into detail but it's a bloody and sad story.
Felix on Jun 16, 2009
hmmm #9 made me remember i read the first book! or i dreamed this same story line.... hmmmm..............
zach on Jun 16, 2009
I remember reading these books growing up. I always felt like John Marsden was taking the easy road by not naming the invaders. The books certainly capitalised on the eternal Australian fear of conquest by some massive Asian superpower. It's like a slightly more plausible Red Dawn. Tbh, I don't think the books make for an exceptional "action movie" like he describes. I think he may have to add a bit to the source material. I hope he can pull it off. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
luden on Jun 16, 2009
I have read the whole series and love them. I am on one of the best forums you'll ever see that is dedicated to the books and the movie idea. I think it is the best not because of the design but the people that make it up. We are all really friendly and open on topics not just about the books but about everything really. I would recommend joining us on the Tomorrow-Movies forum (http://tomorrowmovies.proboards.com/index.cgi?). I promise you will fill quite welcome. BTW Felix, I would like to correct you. The group do not make any attempt whatsoever to rescue their families because it was virtually impossible. They attacked the enemy out of basically patriotism, hoping to make enough difference to give Australia's a fighting chance. I won't say how much difference they made so as not to spoil it for anyone. I do recommend the entire Tomorrow series. There are alot of twists and turns.
WazzuMan on Jun 17, 2009
Hello, I think this is a fantastic idea. I am only half through the first book but i'm loving it. I know and my friend Sophie would absolutely love to act in it aswell. Please reply, Victoria
Victoria King on Jun 19, 2009
Hello, Does anyone when any auditions are going to be??? Please Reply, Victoria
Victoria King on Jun 19, 2009
wow, i must have been really convinced by the books, becasue i think this will be a FANTASTIC movie series. Twilight sucks hugely, its about time we had some Australian- focused stories and art. Stuart Beattie, if you read this, I WANT IN ON YOUR CREW.
Belle on Jun 30, 2009
hello im very interested in being an actor in this movie. I have read the series twice and jsut absoulotely love them. i see myself a lot in elle because i am a farmers daughter aswell and just love the farm life. i love books and movies like the Tomorrow when the war began series and would love to have the oppurtunity to act in them. can anyone please tell me how and where i can audition. please. cheers 🙂
Alisha Winen on Aug 3, 2009
Auditioning has been going on for a while and all the main roles are being filled. They are almost over. From what I understand they cast Ellie a while ago since she is the main character. Those that auditioned did it through an agent or in one case I've heard of through their acting school. We haven't heard much from these people lately but the cast should be announced at the end of the month. This information was passed through to me on the Tomorrow Movies forum I mentioned above. If you don't mind reading through all the stuff we put in the thread you should be able to hear all the little tidbits we got. Just click on my name below to go to the forum and it shouldn't be to difficult to find.
WazzuMan on Aug 4, 2009
thankyou for your help. I really appreciate it. 🙂
Alisha Winen on Aug 4, 2009
Hey :).. My Drama teacher suggested to me that i audition for a minor role in tomorrow, when the war began.... Im really interested in the idea and would love to no more information about how and where to audition.. Thanks heaps
rachael on Aug 6, 2009
We read Tomorrow When the War began for our Book study in English.I thought it's gonna be boring but it wasn't ,I just can't stop . I just finish Dead of the night yesterday and gonna read the third one tomorrow.Can't wait for the movie !!! The whole class knew that there's gonna be a movie about it when our teacher told us , if she hasn't ,obviously, I'm not gonna be this keen. Can anyone tell me of the characters, me and my friend are just curious on how they would look like.??And also when they are going to be exactly out in cinemas.tnx Anyway thanks for all these comments.
PauGrace on Aug 8, 2009
It is still too early to say anything. We might not hear anything until late September. The guy who runs the forum I'm on has given his website tomorrowmovies.com a major revamp and you will be able to subscribe to news via e-mail. Again you can also check out the forum clicking on my name or following the link on the site 'cause most news he gets through other members first.
WazzuMan on Aug 9, 2009
I've read the series dozens of times, and i LOVE them! I'm so excited about the movie!!! I've always imagined the invaders as being more korean than chinese. maybe japaneese?
Nicole on Nov 16, 2009
the movie was very close to the book which i thought was great and the changes they made from the book to movie were good changes, like they made things more intense and modernized a lot of it.
ninjaboy on Apr 2, 2011
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