Wherefore art thou Romeo? Well, not on the rugby field

Graeme Murphy is to be the choreographer for a new film, Tackling Romeo.

The film is a remake of Kick, an Australian movie released in 1999. Kick was set in Australia and while the new version follows much the same plot, it is set in the United States.

The co-producers are Steve Turnbull and the dancer, Josef Brown, while the director and co-writer is Lynda Heys.

Many dancers have auditioned for roles in the movie that tells the story of a high school student and rugby star, Bobby Sherwood, and is set in an exclusive boys’ prep school in Connecticut, in a small dance studio in Jersey and at the Lincoln Centre in New York.

Bobby has to choose between his obligations to his rugby team (yes, they do play rugby in the US) and his passion for dance. He secretly rehearses with a small ballet company for its production of Romeo & Juliet.

The sport-ballet connection is one that Murphy knows well, having choreographed Beyond Twelve for the Australian Ballet in 1980, a work described as “a look at a dancer’s life, from larky football-mad boyhood to young love and early success through to a hard-earned, lonely maturity”.

Kick, the original film, was also directed by Lynda Heys and starred Russell Page, Rebecca Yates, Martin Henderson, Radha Mitchell, Jason Clarke and Paul Mercurio.

Tacking Romeo is based on the director’s cut of Kick, but there appears to have been a convoluted back story as Tackling Romeo’s Facebook page (not updated since 2013) says:

“The release cut of the original film was not our vision for this movie… the story was cut back by at least 30 minutes, the development of the love story removed, the dance pieces slashed to create simplistic montages, and if you can believe it, our music and songs replaced with songs that were out of time with the dancing! If you look hard on the internet you may even find a copy of the released cut. Again this is not our cut! Please don’t watch it. It has taken us a decade, and a lot of inside support, to get the rights back to our film. But it’s a story we love. A story worth telling. And a story we hope will touch and stay with you long after the final credits fade”.

A stage musical may also being developed concurrently with the production of the film.

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