The extraordinary life of our greatest war general, Sir John Monash, is making its way to movie screens.
His face is on the $100 note; he was a powerful voice against anti-Semitism; numerous cities, organisations and institutions have been named in his honour (Monash University, Monash Freeway); and he was a true war hero of the first order. After being involved in the bloodshed of the Gallipoli campaign, Melbourne-born John Monash – whose Prussian-Jewish heritage was always held against him in a turn-of-the-century Australia that could hardly be described as tolerant – took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France, and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, who did bloody battle amongst the horrors of the Western Front. The successful Allied attack at The Battle Of Amiens on 8 August 1918, which expedited the end of the war, was planned by Monash, who was eventually knighted (the last man to receive this honour on the field of battle) in August 1918 by King George V outside Villers-Bretonneux, a village in western France.
Sir John Monash will now be the focus of a new Australian film, spearheaded by James M Vernon, who was executive producer on Mel Gibson’s Academy Award winning war epic Hacksaw Ridge. Working alongside Vernon will be Jim Robison, who produced the upcoming The School, and screenwriter, Marc Furmie (who penned the recent biopic, In Like Flynn, along with the sci-fi thriller, Terminus). Also involved in the film as a military consultant will be retired Brigadier Michael Moon DSC, AM, a military historian in his own right and decorated past Commander of the Australian Forces in the Middle East.
“Monash was one of the greatest military and civilian leaders of his age and we want to share his story with all Australians and the world,” Brigadier Moon says in a statement announcing the film’s production. “He truly was a remarkable and complex man who overcame all to help win the war and bring his beloved soldiers home. The timing of the film’s announcement is important for us. November 11 this year marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day 1918. Few WWI military commanders played a greater part in helping to bring an end to the war than Monash. His determination to win the war and bring his boys home was extraordinary. He was a man who had to overcome the disadvantages of his birth to prove himself at every turn during his rise to become one of the greatest living members of his nation. This is an extraordinary story of a truly remarkable man which needs to be told.”
Film production is well underway with final arrangements including a funding round being undertaken to enable commencement of filming in mid-2019. No casting announcements have been made at this time. To keep track of the project, head to the official website.
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