Set in Australia’s tropical north during the 1970s, FRIEND OF DOROTHY tells the story of a 16-year-old boy’s coming-of-age through his relationship with a fifty-some-thing teacher. Jeanie Drynan (recently nominated for an AH Award for her role in Soft Fruit) has been confirmed to play Dorothy. No other cast have been named at this stage.
The film will be produced by Bell, directed by Michael Edwards and adapted from a short story by John Lonie (who has written the screenplay). Bell is currently seeking finance for the project, and meeting with foreign distributors in Los Angeles. He will also visit Sydney for eight days in late November.
According to Bell, the Pacific Film & Television Commission has expressed interest in providing 10 percent of the budget. The film is due to shoot from June or July, and Bell hopes to complete post-production in Australia.
Having recently finished FIGHT CLUB (starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham-Carter) Bell is also developing the feature LAMBS OF GOD, based on the book by Australian writer Marele Day.
The film will be directed by Gillian Armstrong, with a cast including Winona Ryder (who will share producing duties with Bell and her manager Carol Bodie).
Although he had hoped to make the project in Australia, Bell said it would now be shot in Ireland some time next year. LAMBS OF GOD will be made for production entity Fox 2000, with whom Bell had a two-year deal.
Although at a very early stage. Bell said he was also working on an “ensemble musical comedy”, a project he has discussed with both Drynan and Kylie Minogue.
Having left Australia for LA 10 years ago, Bell said he hoped to be able to make a film here every 18 months. He added, however, that his move to Hollywood had been an invaluable learning experience.