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EXCLUSIVE: Russell Crowe set to turn Bert Newton into a movie star with big screen biopic

''He was a huge childhood fan of Bert’s.''
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Oscar winner Russell Crowe’s Aussie movie studio plans are moving forward at a rapid pace, and insiders say he’s not solely focused on Hollywood blockbusters.

The 57-year-old Gladiator star, who recently announced he intends to turn a former banana plantation in Coffs Harbour into a $400 million international movie studio isn’t just wooing the A-list, with sources telling Woman’s Day he’s also after local content.

And of particular interest is the story of TV legend Bert Newton, 83.

Russell’s not just interested in luring Hollywood projects to Oz.

“He is looking at some of the backstories of Australia’s favourite personalities, from Dawn Fraser to Bert Newton,” says an industry insider.

Russell Crowe is reportedly planning a biopic about Bert Newton.


“Aussies love a biopic film or miniseries, going by the success of shows about Peter Allen, INXS and Kerry Packer that have been done in the past.”

And Bert’s incredible story, mixed in with all the family dramas, illnesses and his infallible marriage to Patti, 76, is believed to be on top of Russell’s pile.

“A biopic about Bert is something that’s personal to Russell,” adds the source.

“Like most people his age, he was a huge childhood fan of Bert’s and he feels his story deserves to be told to a new generation – the highs and the lows.

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“Bert gave his heart and soul to Australia and has pretty much lost his son Matthew to the bad side of the industry in the process,” says a source, referring to the 44-year-old’s multiple arrests and charges for assault and subsequent estrangement from his parents.

“There’s been a lot of pain and heartache, but the backbone to the story is, of course, Patti, and how the two men in her family dealt with fame.

“There’s also Bert’s multiple health scares, including heart attacks and a leg amputation, along with his friendships with famous Aussies we all know and love.

“It’s an incredible story Russell thinks worthy of telling.”

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