Christopher Atkins to produce movie in Redlands

American actor Christopher Atkins (left) who starred with Brooke Shields in the 1980s classic The Blue Lagoon with Australian actor Tony Bonner at Raby Bay Harbour on Friday. 
 Photo by Chris McCormack
American actor Christopher Atkins (left) who starred with Brooke Shields in the 1980s classic The Blue Lagoon with Australian actor Tony Bonner at Raby Bay Harbour on Friday. Photo by Chris McCormack

THE Redlands may soon be under the movie lights after plans to produce a multi-million dollar movie to be set in Queensland took a step forward last week.

Following a production meeting in Cleveland on Friday, the movie's co-producer and Australian actor Tony Bonner said the movie, Lucky Valentine after the lead character's name, was set mainly in regional Queensland and was based on a story by Gold Coast screenwriter Marianne Paterson and reworked with American actor and writer Christopher Atkins (The Blue Lagoon, 1980).

Tony said he and Christopher would produce the movie, to be directed by Rod Hardy (The Mentalist and X-Files), with Australian Screen Industry Network co-owner Brenda Papworth, of North Stradbroke Island.

Lucky Valentine tells the humorous story of a troubled, professional American baseball player who is sent by his manager to play in an Australian team, with Lucky not realising until his arrival that it is a cricket team.

Christopher, who has been holidaying on North Stradbroke Island this month, said as Lucky encounters "a range of great characters", life in outback Australia, and struggles with mastering cricket, he "learns about life and love and all those things he never had in America and Australia changes him".

Co-producer Brenda likened the movie to Red Dog and said it would "appeal to people right across the board".

"It ticks all the boxes," she said.

"It's funny, it has romance, and it has heartbreak.

"It has a lot of good film elements."

Tony said the movie had an Australian investor and a trailer was being made to attract other investors.

He said the Cleveland meeting was "very positive and focused" and said the project had received commitments from a number of Australian actors.

"Our only difficulty is casting the correct American actor to play Lucky," he said.

Tony said the movie would open in Los Angeles before moving to Brisbane and regional Queensland, with the producers aiming to film some scenes on North Stradbroke Island.

"We'd love the project to start moving ahead in the next three to four months. However, it may be the end of summer next year as I don't want to shoot at mid-summer in Queensland."

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