Russell Crowe and Phillip Noyce to Make DIRT MUSIC

by     Posted 4 years, 35 days ago

Director Phillip Noyce has been developing an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music for some time now.  To give you some sense of the timeline, Heath Ledger was once attached to star, prior to his passing in January 2008.  There were rumors that Crowe might step in, but the talk never advanced beyond that.

Noyce is currently working the promotional circuit for his new film, the Angelina Jolie spy thriller Salt, and provided an update on the development process.  According to the director, not only is Crowe attached, he’s been preparing music for the film for years.  Hit the jump for Noyce’s precise comments and details on the story.

The Playlist caught Noyce’s appearance on the KCRW program The Treatment, where he told host Elvis Mitchell:

“Russell has been preparing for [Dirt Music] for a number of years.  He’s written and recorded a number of songs that’ll be in the movie.  In fact, he’s going on tour later this year with his band, and people around America will be able to hear a lot of the songs well in advance of the movie coming out.”

I admire Crowe’s devotion to the role, but it should be noted that his turns as a musician with 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God are generally not well-regarded.  I’ve only heard a couple of clips in preparation for this article, so I’ll refrain from judgement.  I imagine his gruff singing style is appropriate for the genre of “dirt music.”

Here’s a brief synopsis of Winton’s source material via Amazon :

Set in the dramatic landscape of Western Australia, Dirt Music tells the story of Luther Fox, a broken man who makes his living as an illegal fisherman — a shamateur. Before everyone in his family was killed in a freak rollover, Fox grew melons and counted stars and loved playing his guitar.  Now, his life has become a “project of forgetting.”  Not until he meets Georgie Jutland, the wife of White Point’s most prosperous fisherman, does Fox begin to dream again and hear the dirt music — “anything you can play on a verandah or porch,” he tells Georgie, “without electricity.”

Sounds like it could be a good match for the notorious brooder, if treated with care.

Crowe is reportedly attached to star in a remake of 1980s crime series The Equalizer.  Crowe will next be seen in the Paul Haggis thriller The Next Three Days, which opens November 19, 2010.

For your reference, here’s a clip of 30 Odd Foot of Grunts’ “Sail Those Same Oceans”:




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  • macca

    Where to start? Your article is riddled with misinformation.

    Crowe is NOT attached to The Equalizer. Someone attached to that potential project mentioned they would like him, but it went no further.

    Russell was interested in Dirt Music years ago, but the project fell through. It was revived later, but he was already committed to other projects, hence Ledger and also Colin Farrell were now in the running to do it. The project faltered again, but is now being re-written to accommodate a different cast.

    Crowe was a musician before he became an actor. Many of the bloggers who write disparagingly of his musicianship have never been to one of his lively and entertaining concerts… but feel it's fair game to criticize because some other blogger was critical, even tho that blogger “borrowed” the mindset from other bloggers. At least you are honest enough to admit you've no clue. I have gone to see his performing and thoroughly enjoyed the show, his music and songwriting.

  • moviefan

    Crowe's band hasn't been called 30 Odd Foot of Grunts since 2004, it now goes by the name of The Ordinary Fear of God. That video you posted is also ten years old. Crowe's voice may not be the most perfect in the world but not only has he gotten better over the years, it suits his songs. He is an excellent lyricist and for several years has been co-writing songs with Alan Doyle from Great Big Sea. They are also collaborating on the music from Dirt Music.

    As you can imagine, Crowe is an excellent showman and the live TOFOG shows are a rocking good time.

    The book, Dirt Music, is a beautiful story, I've been hoping for years this movie would get made and I surely hope things fall into place this time.

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  • Greg

    I’m just read Dirt Music and really enjoying it and would look forward to a film adaption of this sprawling and edgy work. Brooding and violent in places with lots of wry observations all set against the enormous backdrop of the Australian west.

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