Beattie banks on Dundee
Former premier says film message still effective
COMMONWEALTH Games boss and former premier Peter Beattie has thrown his weight behind the push to revive the Crocodile Dundee franchise, saying it is Australia’s best cultural ambassador to the world.
Mr Beattie, who also served as the state’s trade commissioner to the US, said the iconic 1980s film series starring Paul Hogan had succeeded far be- yond tourism marketing campaigns in the following decades.
The push to bring back Mick Dundee was sparked this week with the release of an allstar trailer that aired during the Superbowl as an advertisement for Tourism Australia, which reached more than 103 million people in the US alone who tuned in for the American football.
The spoof, featuring everyone from Hogan to current stars Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth, was warmly received by US audiences.
Mr Beattie said the time was right to revive the concept.
“I spent a lot of time in the US after retiring as premier and the thing people remembered about Australia as I travelled was Crocodile Dundee. The hard thing with messages today is finding something which cuts through and after all these years, the thing everyone remembers is Crocodile Dundee and shrimp on the barbie, which shows it is just as relevant as it was back then.
“If there was to be another movie it would be in the national interest because it sells us in a way which frankly will cut through and get to people.”
The Crocodile Dundee franchise began with the first film in 1986, which became one of the biggest hits of the decade.
It was followed two years later by Crocodile Dundee II and concluded with Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles in 2001.
The campaign to revive the film series has already gained plenty of high-level support, including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has backed it, as have some of the actors who starred in the spoof trailer such as Thor star Chris Hemsworth.
The public campaign is signing up celebrity and government supporters for the project, saying it will provide an economic boost for the tourism and entertainment industries.