John Cleese to star in Great Emu War film in Australia


The Great Emu War in Australia is one of our country’s greatest military disappointments.

The story behind the 1932 war is absolutely outrageous and deserves to be told more in Australian schools.

However, if you want to see it on the big screen, you will absolutely get what you asked for.

A film is being made on the Great Emu War of 1932 and it has already brought in the big guns (metaphorically speaking).

Hilarious comedian and TV star John Cleese signed on for the project, along with Australian comedians Monty Franklin and Jim Jefferies and Theft of concordes‘Rhys Darby.

Yaniv Raz has been recruited to lead the epic story and he is excited to dive into one of the strangest stories in Australian military history.

Credit: Alamy

“I am grateful that our wise emu lords saw fit to give me the opportunity to mix satire with burlesque and tell a poignant story about mankind’s war against nature,” Raz said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to direct such an entertaining, meaningful and relevant image.”

Franklin was inspired to make a 1932 war movie after talking about it in his stand-up routine.

Filming is set to begin in Western Australia next year, and before you worry, no emus will be killed during production.

THR reports that the animals will be produced “from a combination of in-camera effects, CGI, and puppetry.”

If you’re unfamiliar with The Great Emu War, allow us to shed some light on one of Australia’s strangest conflicts.

Credit: The Land Newspaper / Australian Government
Credit: The Land Newspaper / Australian Government

It was 1932 and emus were casually raging in the Campion district of Western Australia. They had the perfect breeding ground for their numbers to flourish as they went inland after mating and lapped the farm fields.

Of course, you can’t have piles of flightless birds anywhere, so the soldiers were tasked with getting rid of them.

Because they were given weapons to eradicate piles of emus, many people have dubbed this battle the Great Emu War.

The plan was basically to use 10,000 rounds of ammunition to mercilessly spray groups of emus.

However, this plan failed miserably.

While the troops may have killed a few birds here and there, they were unable to collect enough to be satisfied.

Credit: Pickering Brook Heritage
Credit: Pickering Brook Heritage

A few days after the start of the battle, they were counting the numbers: 2,500 bullets had been used and only 50 emus had been killed.

Troops and weapons were withdrawn on November 8 after local media called the battle a defeat.

Farmers and locals complained that their crops were being destroyed again, which is why a second offensive was launched on November 12.

After nearly a month, soldiers had killed around 100 emus per week and the final tally was close to 1,000. An additional 2,500 emus are believed to have died after being wounded by gunfire.

But the mission was again aborted on December 10 after they realized it was going to be nearly impossible to kill them all.

The result remains a failure to this day.

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