CHARISMATIC actor David Gulpilil, whose career took off in the 1970s after he appeared in Storm Boy, has a walk-on role in the film’s remake.
Gulpilil, 64, plays the father of Fingerbone Bill, the character he made his own more than four decades ago.
“It was lovely, lovely,” said Gulpilil, who recently returned to South Australia from the Northern Territory and is living with family in Murray Bridge, 75 southeast of Adelaide.
Producers of the movie, which has been shooting in South Australia since late July, confirmed Gulpilil’s role.
They said they were thrilled they could feature him in the movie which stars high-profile Australian actors Geoffrey Rush and Jai Courtney, 31.
“David is an Australian cinema icon and an exceptional performer,” Ambience Entertainment producer Michael Boughen told The Advertiser.
“The day he came on set was truly inspirational for everyone and I am just so grateful he agreed to play the role.”
Respected stage and film actor Trevor Jamieson, 42, plays the new Fingerbone Bill, the Aboriginal man who befriends the young Mike Kingley and names him “Storm Boy”.
The new film is a generational shift in the telling of the Colin Thiele story about a boy who lives in isolation with his grieving father and raises three pelicans, among them Mr Percival.
Geoffrey Rush, 66, plays Mike Kingley as a grandfather who tells the story of the pelicans to his troubled granddaughter.
The film flashes back to the 1960s with Courtney in the role Hideaway Tom, and Queensland newcomer Finn Little, 11, stepping into the role made famous by Greg Rowe.
Gulpilil is also appearing in the Australian zombie drama, Cargo, starring UK actor Martin Freeman, about a man trying to save his daughter in the Outback.
Cargo filmed in South Australia last year and will have its international premiere in October at the Adelaide Film Festival.
Storm Boy has been shooting since late July at Adelaide Studios and on location.
Outdoor sets have included the Coorong where Thiele’s novel was set, in Port Elliott and the southern beaches including Port Noarlunga.
The film will be released next year.