Networks declare war with rival Super League mini-series
Channel Nine and Fox Sports are both set to capitalise on the ratings success of Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War with their own dramatic retellings of the Super League war that tore Australian rugby league apart in the mid 90s.
In what’s said to be the biggest threat to the code in Australia since Super League itself, the productions are racing both the clock and each other to sign up on-screen talent and production staff to have the show ready to screen at the start of the 2013 National Rugby League season.
Fox Sports have confirmed the casting of former league star Matt Nable as Rupert Murdoch in Code Wars: A New Hope, which charts Murdoch’s heroic journey from newspaper ownership in a barren wasteland called Adelaide to a climactic battle in which he saves rugby league from an evil empire, before unwittingly kissing his sister.
Over at Nine, an insider has already declared there is Logies Buzz around Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin, who will use the experience honed “acting Beau Ryan off the screen” in skits on The Footy Show to play every speaking role in Nine’s production – tentatively titled Howzat 2! Kerry Saves The Crushers.
A corresponding ‘Super Bowl’ style match between executives from the Perth Pirates and Central Coast Bears will decide which team is first to be admitted into an expanded NRL competition.
An Optus spokesperson has confirmed that their mobile network users will be able to stream it all within minutes of going to air, using their TV Now service.
Anfield Cat: The Movie
In related news, producers of Hollywood classics Air Bud, Snow Buddies and The Karate Dog have scored a major coup by securing the film rights to the life story of Anfield Cat.
Provisionally titled You’ll Never Meow Alone, the sprawling epic is set to chart the loveable tabby’s rise from the mean streets of Liverpool through the trials and tribulations of reasserting its sexual identity after being spayed.
The film will culminate in that fateful night when the cat invaded Liverpool’s famous football field looking for somewhere to sleep, inadvertently changing the sporting landscape forever.
A source close to the production team says this is just the start of a series which will lead to a joint film in the tradition of The Avengers, with Cloke Park Dog, Gabba Pig, Rally Squirrel and Joel Monaghan all earmarked for their own film franchises in the lead-up.
Meryl Streep is said to be the frontrunner for the coveted Anfield Cat role, while an offer from Paul McCartney to perform a new version of Hey Jude over the film’s end credits has been politely declined.
Meanwhile, Anfield Cat himself is said to be in the sights of Liverpool’s front office should new football manager Brendan Rodgers fail to get the team firing.