In a move that is either brilliant or frustrating, Jessica Mauboy and Deborah Mailman have been cast to star in the movie. Mauboy and Mailman were two of the stars of last year's hit indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae, so their hiring for another indigenous musical makes me raise an eyebrow. Given Dae's status as one of the biggest Aussie films of the decade, it probably makes good fiscal sense, but was Mauboy really the most talented they could find? Apart from her singing - admitted a very important part of a musical - her performance left a lot to be desired.
Nevertheless, The Sapphires is still a film to look forward to and if they play their cards right I don't see why it can't be a huge success. Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell will co-star as the final two members of the group in Wayne Blair's film and, I'm sure, some more big names will join them in the future. From Inside Film:
The Sapphires will be directed by actor and theatre director Wayne Blair and produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia’s Rosemary Blight and Kylie du Fresne. The film will be distributed locally by Hopscotch Films, which was recently acquired by global distributor Entertainment One, and sold internationally by Goalpost Film UK.
Hopscotch Films managing director Troy Lum said the company is tremendously excited to be the Australian and New Zealand distributor.
“The Sapphires has it all – a great story with lots of love and laugher, set against the backdrop of the social upheaval of the late 1960’s, a wonderful cast and crew and an unbeatable soul music soundtrack," he said in a statement.
Below is a clip of Jessica Mauboy from Bran Nue Dae as well as a clip from The Sapphires, taken from the stage musical that starred Christine Anu, Casey Donovan, Kylie Farmer and Hollie Andrews.