This month's David news (in no particular order):
Short Film Makes Big Splash Glenn Owen Dodds was screened Nov. 11th at the St. George Bank Brisbane International Film Festival. Says producer
Bec Dakin, “David Wenham is phenomenal and the script is brilliant." The film was also nominated for an AFI award.
According to this article in the Courier-Mail, David "has since signed on as the lead actor and producer for [Trent] Dalton's next script. In The Silence
is a thriller, which [Frazer] Bailey will also direct. "It's about a man who creates a second identity to befriend the
man who's sleeping with his wife," Dalton said."
David attended the opening of the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. "Like David Wenham, who opened the show, [Tony] Robinson admitted
he had never been scrutinised by a Leibovitz lens."
That may be, Tony Robinson, but you haven't REALLY been photographed until you've had your face vandalized by
a diagonal fusillade of Tito Media watermarks.
Oranges and Sunshine film review from the Hollywood Reporter "Even Len (David Wenham), the film’s only survivor who adamantly refuses to be pitied, is condescended to. “I
don’t know about the man sitting in front of me,” Margaret [Humphreys] tells him when he likens confessing
one’s pain to whining, “but I’m sure I’d like to speak to the boy inside.” "
Red Carpet video at the Kodak Inside Film Awards 2010 on Facebook featuring a small David segment halfway through. Here are a couple of photos from the event (thank you bellis,
Nenya, and gonerill):
I really don't think it's possible to top "Big Fella" as a caption for that last photo.
What else has David been up to this month? Glad you asked. Attending a dinner for artist Nathan Taylor's Dead
to the World exhibition...
...and dressing up as Obi-Wan Kenobi:
I feel a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices had suddenly cried out in amusement,
and been silenced.
As God is my witness, I will hunt down that trailer.
10/12 - A recent Variety review of Oranges and Sunshine
provides a little more information about David's character:
The exception is Len (David Wenham), a brusque type who appears unscarred by his time at Bindoon,
a remote Catholic orphanage where unspeakable acts were said to have taken place. Now a benefactor of the institution, he
takes Margaret to his former home and exacts revenge with a quiet, beautifully controlled fury.
The Jono and Dano show has a radio interviewo with Davo.
Here's some more photos from the Legend of the Guardians premiere, daintily debouched from Daisy Daily:
~ BONUS STUPID OWL JOKE SECTION ~
Two owls are announcing a baseball game.
The first owl says, "That's two hits."
The second owl says "Two hits to who?"
Q: What goes "Qui, qui"?
A: A French owl.
Q: What sits in a tree and criticizes your off-key singing?
A: Simon Cowl.
SWEET NEIL FLETCHER ON A POLKA-DOT MULE we've got some events going on here. Legend of the Guardians
premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles yesterday and Oranges and Sunshine is premiering next month at the Pusan film festival in Korea and it's David's birthday. (Disclaimer: Clicking this link will permanently damage your ability to speak English. Don't say we not warneded
On with the goodies!
David and Sam Neill at the Legends premiere
'I've seen bits of it, and the bits I have seen I have to say are extraordinary,' Wenham said as he walked into Grauman's."
-- Premiere a hoot for Aussie Invaders, Sydney Morning Herald
Photo of David doing voice-over work for Guardians (borrowed from Wenham Wonderland):
David on the cover of Inside Film magazine:
Video interview with David, discussing Digger and Zack Snyder
Video interview with David at the L.A. premiere of Guardians
YouTube footage of David with fans at the L.A. premiere of Guardians
With all of the hoopla going on, David was not able to attend the launch of the 2011 Arts Festival due to "work commitments" in the US.
It's Sept. 21st! Let us not forget best birthday wishes for David, and cake. This year we've
got a cute little chocolatey owl with big eyes like Digger's:
And another cake, sent in by somebody named "Doug":
Killing Time Stalled by Underbelly-Style Court Case
True Crime Drama Pulled From Schedule Over Legal Fears
The premier of Killing Time, which was to have been September 5th, has been postponed indefinitely due to
the fact that the real-life Andrew Fraser is involved with an upcoming court case.
Should we file a class-action countersuit? Or would that make the universe explode?
Coming Soon has three new TV spots for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole.
Donna Cross gave a talk on Pope Joan at the Liverpool Public Library in New York on Aug. 19. The film will be screening in Los Angeles and San Francisco
Here's a couple of David photos that, er, "fell off a truck". (Actually, they fell off of David Wenham Daily).
New character posters from Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole have been released. Here's Digger:
Ow! Hang on a minute. I'm getting a crick in my neck.
There! That's much better.
An Afternoon with Legend of the Guardians and Zack Snyder by Drew McWeeny, who writes: "My first impression is that the slightly unhinged vocal work by David Wenham and
the crazy facial tics of Digger are a pretty winning combination." Another recap here (including photos of the gift bag goodies).
Sex! Drugs! Fast cars! Randomly fired Kalashnikovs! Yes, it's the long-awaited Killing Time trailer. The defense would like the court to note that m'lud's wig looks very distinguished, m'lud.
Female Pope Film Sparks Vatican Row Months after its release, Pope Joan is still stirring up controversy. L'Avennire, a newspaper for Italian
bishops, has dismissed the film as a "hoax" and possessing "extremely limited vision". In more News of the Unsurprising,
a spokesman for L'Onion, a newspaper for snarky Italian bishops, went on to confirm that the Pope is Catholic and wears a
Things that make Gerold stabby:
1) Ruffians who throw moldy bread at the pope
2) Wedding crashers
3) People who forget to pronounce his name with a hard "g"
Quote of the Week:
Yes. I made the comment the other day, they'll have a fair bit of time with [David]
in the makeup department - uglying him up sufficiently to play me.
-- Andrew Fraser, in an interview with Peter Thompson
Digger sees everything you do.
The Snyders on Legend of the Guardians
Behind the scenes interview with Zack and Deborah Snyder regarding the September 24 release of Legend of the Guardians:
The Owls of Ga'hoole
. The video includes new footage from the film, with glimpses of Digger, the owl whom David
Interesting article about Australia's current generation of talented forty-something actors, including David,
and the young up-and-comers who are following in their footsteps.
tied for the gold medal for Best Feature-Length Movie Soundtrack at the Park City (Utah) film
festival. Read more about composer Marcel Barsotti's musical approach here
Here's the latest update on distribution of Pope Joan from author Donna Woolfolk Cross (thanks
We have no definite commitment yet from a distributor to make the Pope Joan movie
available across the U.S. Apparently, distributors believe there may be little interest in Pope Joan's story in the U.S. (the
beauty and high quality of the film itself notwithstanding). We know they're wrong--and it's up to us to prove it. If we can't
get interest from the "top down", let's create it from the "bottom up" (which is the way my poor orphaned novel has sold,
lo these many years, absent any meaningful publisher support. Here's to grassroots power!)
Here are two ideas:
1. Do you live in or near these cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal,
New York City, Ottawa, San Francisco or Toronto? If so, contact your local Goethe Institute to request a screening of Pope
Joan. Yes, the film is in English. But it was produced by Constantin, a German production company, so Goethe Institutes will
be interested in a screening. Contact information for these venues can be found here.
Neil (who provided the screen cap of Digger, above) has created a lovely tribute to David's career on YouTube: "I'm Just An Actor..."
The music is by Melnitsa, a Russian folk rock band.
If David were a watch, apparently he would be the Rolex Explorer II, because of his "resonant charm" and ability to stay
waterproof up to 330 feet. Or so says this blog
devoted to comparing watches to celebrities. I believe Johnny Spitieri would be a sundial.
Press release from Killing Time (thanks meaningofhaste!)
more info on casting
David attended the opening of the Olsen Hotel on April 15, 2010. CEO Will Deague is opening six boutique hotels around
Sydney, each named for an artist and each featuring specially commissioned artwork in the foyer. (Adam Cullen, who did
the famous painting of David that won the 2000 Archibald Prize, gets his own hotel also.)
Faith is Restored Interview with Sonke Wortmann, director of Pope Joan, in the Sydney Morning Herald. Says Wortmann: "[David]
is a brilliant actor and when you play the male hero you have to look like a male hero, and he does - especially with
This majestic blog entry by The Girl Who Wished She Was Australian comprehensively summarizes David's entire career, from "party youth" to Gerold, Digger, and beyond. It has all kinds
of links to videos, trailers, interviews, and imdb descriptions. Pull up a comfy chair and enjoy!
The Pope Joan DVD release date is now 'TBD'. If you really want to see it, you can buy a ticket on Lufthansa, which
is showing it as their in-flight movie on trips to and from Europe. Donna Woolfolk Cross says she'll have U.S. and Canada
release news in next month's newsletter.
Sonke Wortmann is making plans to attend the World Cup with David.
Wenham To Attend Fundraiser For Boogie Fever Australia's A-list will
come out in style to raise money and awareness for Boogie Fever at Sydney's Town Hall. The white-leisure-suit
event, to include a sitdown dinner and string quartet, will aid the tragic victims of this terrible malady. Actor
David Wenham has also agreed to emcee upcoming charity events for Olympic Fever, Pac-Man Fever, and Adult-Onset
Scrappy Kids Plan To Fix Up The Barn And Put On A 10-Hour Miniseries The
lovable little scamps in charge of Killing Time have been scavenging scrap lumber and borrowing their parents'
old clothes in preparation for putting on a Really Big Shoe. Executive producer Jason Stephens has been making sure
everyone uses their best "grownup voice" and combs their hair over to the side, because "this is a serious picture".
Says David Wenham, who plays Andrew Fraser: "The hard part is remembering to pull a sad face when you're saying something
sad." The adorable little rascals will be seen on pay-per-view TV later this year.
'Legend of the Guardians' To Be Reshot Following initial feedback from focus
groups, Warner Brothers has pulled "Legend of the Guardians' from post-production. The film will undergo an extensive
rewrite, with razor clams instead of owls as the titular guardians. "Bivalves do pose some problems as far as mobility
and narrative excitement", said studio executive Lester V. Hapablap. "Most of the story now takes place in the
same five-foot square area of mudflats. In the battle scenes, we've gone from aerial dogfights to squirting the enemy.
It's also extremely difficult to put armor on clams."
"At least they didn't have to rename Digger," commented David Wenham, who is doing voicework -- and now, shellwork -- for
The film will be released in 4-D. "I can't say too much about it," Hapablap confided, "but our patented Digital 4-D
process adds an extra dimension, time, to the film. Audiences will really feel like minutes are passing while they're
watching the movie."
April Fools Day Moved To April 2 This Year Due to managerial incompetence, some
prank news items planned for April 1st were not posted in time. A "mulligan" was declared, and the observance moved
to the following day. David Wenham could not be reached for comment.
Real news item: Our Midwestern bureau chief, meaningofhaste, sent along this tidbit from the article "Each
Picture Tells A Story". It's an interview with Trish Lake, film producer and owner of Freshwater Productions, which
appeared in the Sunday Mail of March 21:
The most memorable day on the job?
"The first day of the read-through of the script at the production office on the Gold Coast of the
feature film Gettin' Square and hearing David Wenham reading Johnny Spitieri's lines and realising that his casting for that
role was inspired, thanks to director Jonathan Teplitzky's choice."
Glenn Owen Dodds made its Australian debut at the Heart of Gold International Film Festival, picking up an award for Best Queensland Film. Eric alerted us to this video interview with Bec Dakin, the producer of the film, at Dailymotion. Bec talks about how David came to be involved in the film. Towards
the end of the interview, she reveals that David is interested in producing Frazer Bailey and Trent Dalton's next feature
The first trailer for Legend of the Guardian is out. (Ho ho, it's fun to mess with search engine results by linking inappropriate words. Kumquat! Nudibranch!) Note the name change: the movie covers the first three books, not just Ga'Hoole. Remember, it's Legend
of the Guardian, not Guardian of the Legend. Ask for it by name.
Oranges and Sunshine cast and crew on a light plane to Arkaroola A Blog Entry of Interest, written by a photographer involved with the O&S project.
David will be starring in a new 10-part miniseries, "Killing Time", as Andrew Fraser, a high-flying Melbourne criminal
lawyer who dabbled in cocaine, lost everything, and ended up in a maximum security prison fighting for survival and hoping to
find a way to salvage his reputation. Full story here
Whoa! Did you catch that? TEN PART MINISERIES.
From The Sunday Age, Feb. 21:
INSIDERS say David ‘‘Diver Dan’’ Wenham will play fallen Melbourne lawyer
Andrew Fraser in the coming 10-part television series Killing Time, about Fraser’s rise and spectacular fall. The series,
which will screen on the pay TV channel TV1 is to be shot by Fremantle Media Australia in Melbourne this year. Fraser’s
clients included Dennis Allen, Jimmy Krakouer, Alan Bond and those accused of the Walsh Street murders. Fremantle’s
spin runs something like this: Fraser once commanded a huge salary but when his cocaine addiction spiralled into a $1000-a-day
habit, he lost everything. He was disbarred, discredited, broken financially and his marriage was destroyed. The show will
tell how being jailed with ‘‘serial killers and psychopaths’’, Fraser ‘‘was forced to
reflect on where it all went so wrong, and try to salvage his shattered reputation’’. A drama series with the
lovely Diver Dan playing Fraser can only help.
More information on Andrew Fraser
Oranges and Sunshine wraps on eve of historic Gordon Brown apology Principal filming has ended for Oranges and Sunshine, just as Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, was
preparing to make a formal apology to the migrant children who were taken from their families and deported to Australia
and other parts of the Commonwealth.
2/19 - Glenn Owen Dodds T-shirts are being given away to the first 5 video responses to the Day 2 Clermont-Ferrand screening
. The video includes a few "new" scenes from the movie, including some tricky fingerwork and a Sistine Chapel
Let me see if I'm understanding this next news item correctly. David convinced a visiting global-warming
denier to perform a Gilbert and Sullivan number in Latin for Oranges & Sunshine's end-of-shoot
variety show; but the global-warming denier had to skip the show due to heat stroke.
(Before you click the link, here's a tissue to wipe the irony off your screen.)
Musical Monckton Melts In Remote Aussie Burg
Heart of Gold film fest launches Among the films to be shown at the inaugural Heart of Gold film fest: one Glen Owen Dodds.
Adelaide's Taste of Tinseltown "The Metropolitan Hotel became a Hollywood set last week as big-name actors Emily Watson and David Wenham landed in
town to shoot their latest film, Oranges and Sunshine..." The hotel was chosen for its vintage charm, and will feature
in a scene set in 1986.
Milcho Manchevski, in a Jan. 30 interview with Caffeinated Clint at Moviehole, has an appreciative accolade for David: "“I was offered a lot before Ravenous -- dozens and dozens, read
hundreds of scripts. I started working on Three Kings – but we disagreed over locations, A Perfect Murder,
The Devil’s Own, The Quiet American.... but I didn't like the lack of creative freedom, and was more
interested in making Dust, a film I did with another Aussie, a brilliant actor, David Wenham”.
Pope Joan will be released on DVD April 8. Everyone synchronize your Gerold Countdown-o-Matics, starting....riiiight....now.
Neil, who is one of the admins at the Russian-language fan site Wenhamania, has done some excellent work translating portions of the site into English. Check out the bio section, which is a masterpiece: a portrait of David assembled from various interviews.
Glen Owen Dodds won the International Prix Canal+ award at the Clermont-Ferrand film festival. The network plans to buy the film and screen it on their channels in France
and Spain. Glentastic!
Oh my GlennOwenDodds! There's a trailer on YouTube.
An autographed photo, taken by British journalist John Mosby, was auctioned this past week on behalf of the PEACE fund, a charity created by Highlander's Adrian Paul, to benefit relief efforts in Haiti. The
photo, signed by David with the Highlander motto "There can be only one", raised $122.
Yesterday's showing of Pope Joan in Washington D.C. played to a full house. Donna Cross sent out
this email update:
The screening of the movie version of Pope Joan in Washington, D.C. this Wednesday,
January 27th has sold out!
If you're planning to be there, and you already purchased
your ticket online, then I'm very much looking forward to meeting
you, and sharing the Pope Joan Movie with you.
If you have not yet purchased a ticket,
then you won't want to make the trip. Since the theater
is sold out, no more tickets will be available. I'll be sorry not to see you there, but perhaps this sell-out performance
will help increase the chances of an opening in your area.
[But I do have a request! If you were planning
to attend, but had not yet purchased your tickets, will you shoot us a reply email and let us know how many might have attended?
This will help the producers know more about the level of interest in a more expanded release in the United States.]
David is playing God.
No, really. The Courier-Mail is reporting that David, impressed by a script for a short film sent
to him by the Brisbane filmmaker Frazer Bailey, agreed to appear in the title role of Frazer's 16-minute short film Glenn
Owen Dodds. The article describes the film as
an illuminating and uplifting'' comedy about a young man (played by Sydney actor
Abe Forsythe) who has a chance encounter with Glenn Owen Dodds (note his initials), played by Wenham, who claims to be God,
``esteemed creator of the gnat, the dung beetle, the universe etc''.
Bailey, interviewed for the article, comments:
"Watching Gettin' Square (filmed on the Gold Coast with Wenham and Avatar star Sam
Worthington), we agreed David Wenham would be just the man for our film,'' says the 32-year-old director from Kenmore, in
Brisbane's west."When we sent the script to his Sydney agent, they politely told us
that Mr Wenham was too busy for short films and hadn't appeared in any. But they rang back after they'd read the script and
said it was the best short film script they'd ever read, and they'd pass it on to him.
"We didn't have any funding at that time and eventually he wrote a letter essentially saying,
`If this film gets up, I'll be in it'. He'd done Lord of the Rings and was making Answered by Fire
about four years ago when we first approached him.
"Then he went on to 300 and Australia and Public Enemies, but he
stayed true to his word and flew up when we were ready to go.
"Here's a guy who'd just finished this huge Hollywood gangster epic with Johnny Depp (playing
prohibition era gangster Harry Pierpont in Public Enemies) and he's suddenly on set in Queensland working our little
film with a budget about .00001 per cent of (director) Michael Mann's.
"It was a privilege just to have him turn up."
And here is how Go - uh, Glenn Owen Dodds manifests himself:
DON'T STARE AT HIM DIRECTLY, YOU FOOLISH MORTAL!!! What are you thinking!? His radiance will incinerate you
on the spot!
(The screenshots of G.O.D., by the way, are from here
So far, the film has been very well received. It won silver
at the ACS Queensland & Northern Territory State Awards for Cinematography, and was selected for the International
Competiton for the 2010 Short Film Festival at Clermont-Ferrand, France from Jan. 29 - Feb. 6. For more updates, visit the Glen Owen Dodds blog
Hey kids! Here's yet another reason to stay in school:
In last week's newsletter update, Donna Cross shared this fun anecdote about David from the Pope Joan
Finally, a charming story about David Wenham, who plays Gerold in the film. During one of the premiere
press conferences, he was asked, "How did it feel to kiss a woman with a tonsure?" (for Johanna Wokalek, the brilliant actress
who plays Joan, had to shave the crown of her head like a monk to play this part!).
David's response: "Fantastic!" This drew a warm and appreciative laugh. Then he added, "Gerold fell
in love with Joan for a lot of reasons, none of which had anything to do with her hair style." THAT brought the house down!
Standing beside him at that moment, I hooted and applauded enthusiastically along with the rest of the audience.
And finally, as Leo Tolstoy wrote in the first draft of Anna Karenina: All happy families resemble
one another, but none of them resemble David Wenham on a shopping cart:
(thanks Minkey, bellis, and meaningofhaste!)
So, this morning, I snapped out of a prolonged Christmas butter-and-nog stupor, and remembered I have a website.
A neglected, pathetic, starving website. When I logged on, it snapped and growled at me.
So, what David news has been coming across the transom since last we spoke?
Big Names Set To Star In South Australian Films Filming for Oranges and Sunshine begins Monday in Adelaide (Lord willin' and the creek don't rise).
The story for the 300 prequel is finished, and it is to be called....(dramatic drumroll)...Xerxes. Obviously, there's been some kind of mistake here. Frank Miller didn't use any of my suggestions:
Ripped Yarns, Persian Attack, My Eye! and Dilios Saves Hanukah. Nevertheless, Xerxes
it is, and the story will focus on the Battle of Marathon. Gerard Butler has expressed interest in resurrecting
Leonidas, but there's no word on whether David is eager to climb back on the cottage cheese pony (so to speak) and buff back
up to reprise his gruff Spartan storyteller. Time will tell.
David was on hand for the Sydney Swans' Christmas party on Dec. 9.
Still no official word on U.S. distribution for Pope Joan, but there will be a special screening in Washington, DC on Jan. 27th. Visit Donna Cross' website and read her report on the Pope Joan premiere (with the tantalizing tagline
"David Wenham fans, be sure to tune in" for more updates!)