It's been almost five months since I posted about the upcoming New Zealand war drama, Mark of the Lion, and things are going anything but smoothly. Russell Crowe was in talks to star as WWII hero Charles Upham, but then he backed out. According to Matt Walsh, the actor "is not interested because of the publicity that came out. Media coverage led him to walk away from the project." After initial news came up about the project, both director Nigel Hutchinson and cinematographer Alun Bollinger bailed -- and the latter said that he'd never signed on in the first place. Taking a cue from their film's subject, the people over at Fat and Thin Productions are trucking ahead -- they say they're close to raising their $18 million target and still plan for a premiere on Anzac Day 2008. They better get moving -- their deadline is April 25.

It's too bad that the production is having so many problems, because it is really an interesting and inspiring story. Upham was a New Zealander who won the Victoria Cross twice for his efforts during World War II. He gained the first cross for not letting hits by mortar fire, starvation and dysentery keep him from carrying men to safety. The second after an ordeal that included a number of serious wounds, becoming a prisoner of war and trying to escape many times -- once with him running on a broken ankle. We always see the seemingly-unbelievable fictional heroes, and bad guys, who can fight on no matter what. It'd be nice to see this man who actually did.
categories Cinematical