ERROL Flynn was swashbuckling long before Hollyood discovered him, as Australian actor Thomas Cocquerel discovered first hand.
The Sydney-born 26-year-old plays the movie legend in a new biopic, directed by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander).
“Flynn was an incredibly complex individual, but in the same breath he was just a fearless young man who sought out adventure and lived this life where he took everyone he knew with him,” said Cocquerel (Table 19), who finished filming last week.
“Playing that sort of real-life character was great fun.”
Based on Flynn’s autobiography, Beam Ends, the film focuses on his early life as an opium smuggler, gambler, street fighter, womaniser, and gold prospector.
The screenplay, based on an earlier version written by Flynn’s grandson, Luke, and actor-producer Corey Large, begins in 1930 in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
While working as a guide for a Hollywood producer, Flynn discovers a map
on a dead prospector that he believes will lead to a fortune in gold.
Back in Sydney, he and a ragtag bunch of n’er do wells steal the Sirocco, a yacht belonging to Chinese Opium smugglers, and set sail for the Pacific Island.
Isabel Lucas plays one of Flynn’s love interests.
Made for a budget of $12 million, In Like Flynn was shot on the Gold Coast. Tamborine Mountain doubled for the rainforests of PNG.
“It’s been incredible fun to work on this project. The guy was amazing in the way he took on
life, head on, and we get to show that. 1930 travel was not what most of us are used to today,” says Mulcahy.
“To say Flynn was fearless is pretty accurate, he went for it in a way that embraced every opportunity that came his way and he had this natural charisma that made people believe in him and of course we all saw that on screen when he hit Hollywood.”
In Like Flynn is slated for a 2018 release.
Originally published as Fearless Flynn ‘fun’ to play