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One of the most notorious multiple murder cases in Australian history, known as the Snowtown murders or the “bodies in the barrels” case, is being turned into a movie as the first project from Warp Films Australia, teaming with the Madman company.
Screen Daily reports that the film (for which no title is mentioned) will be directed by Justin Kurzel, making his feature debut following the short film BLUE TONGUE, which screened at Cannes. Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw are producing and Shaun Grant scripted, based on the case in which 12 people were murdered between 1992 and 1999, with the remains of eight victims being discovered in barrels of acid in an abandoned bank vault in Snowtown. John Bunting and Robert Wagner, pictured above, were eventually convicted of the crimes. The movie will tell the story from the point of view of a teenager who becomes embroiled with the killers. (This case also inspired Michael Craft’s Aussie indie STORAGE, to be released Stateside by IFC Films.)
Warp Films Australia is an offshoot of Britain’s Warp Films, whose credits include DONKEY PUNCH and HUSH (through its Warp X division), and this feature is receiving backing from the federal Screen Australia agency. The latter is also funding X, a thriller about a call girl and a fledgling streetwalker going through a night of hell, to be directed by ACOLYTES’ Jon Hewitt from a script by Belinda McClory.
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