Snowtown director Justin Kurzel will direct the feature, due to start filming in Victoria from March of next year with writer Shaun Grant (Snowtown, Jasper Jones) on hand to adapt Carey’s uncompromising gothic western for the big screen.

‘Peter Carey’s book The True History of the Kelly Gang always felt like the true spirit of Ned Kelly. Unsentimental, brutal, raw and visceral,’ Kurzel said.

Russell Crowe will lead an all-star cast along with X-Men and Mad Max: Fury Road star Nicholas Hoult, Australian actress Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and The Babadook), and British actor George MacKay (Captain Fantastic)  who have also signed up for the film.