With 20 new cast members on board, including four big-name actors, it’s fair to say that The Legend of Ben Hall is the film that keeps growing.
Filming for the new feature-length movie began last week in regional Victoria and the extended version will now include actors Callan McAuliffe, Andy McPhee, Arthur Angel and John Orcsik.
LA based McAuliffe, known for roles in The Great Gatsby and Robot Overloads, and McPhee, who starred in Wolf Creek and Animal Kingdom, will both play members of the gang.
Angel, who was a part of Red Dog and Van Diemen’s Land, will play cattle station owner William Gibson and Orcsik, who has starred in Cop Shop and Underbelly amongst others, will play gang sympathiser Tom Purcell.
The Legend of Ben Hall was originally a short 40-minute film, but after a boost in funding, the project received enough support to become a feature-length production.
The extended cut will now span the last nine months of Hall’s life and the circumstances surrounding his controversial execution by police in 1865.
As a feature, the movie will be shown in Australian cinemas and at film festivals around the world.
Producer Matthew Holmes said the extended cast would help bring a potency to the film.
“All the original cast have returned to continue their roles and their performances are amazing, Jack Martin [who plays Hall] completely owns the role,” he said.
“The original and new cast will bring a level of acting and authenticity to this film that you would see anywhere in the movies.”
The Legend of Ben Hall, which was partially filmed in the Forbes area, is expected to finish shooting by the end of the year.
When it is released, Holmes said he hopes the film will help to open up Australian history and folklore that he believes has been lost.
“We want to make a great emotional film that reintroduces this history to the Australian public,” he said.
“So from now on, nobody asks ‘who is Ben Hall’?”