Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.

EXCLUSIVE: Vinnie Jones and Stephen Lang have joined the ensemble cast of The 34th Battalion, the $20 million saga of an Australian Army unit that fought heroic battles against the Germans during World War I. Jones will play the British-born Lieutenant-Colonel who led the battalion, with Lang as a U.S. officer. The cast includes Luke Hemsworth, Emilie de Ravin, Charles Mesure, Les Hill, Claire van der Boom, Tony Bonner, Andrew Lees and Vince Colosimo. The screenplay by Ian Sparke, who’s also the executive producer, and his son Luke Sparke, focuses on four men from rural New South Wales who joined the Army in 1916 after the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. Luke Sparke will make his directing debut and shooting is due to start midyear in Wauchope, NSW. Camelot Distribution Group is selling international rights.

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