US Release Date: November 14th, 2003

Latest News:

July 26th, 2003 - 
July 5th, 2003 - The poster has just been released. Check it out at the IMP Awards.
February 24th, 2003 -  Looks like the release date has been changed from summer (June 6th) to late fall (November 14th). Have they decided that it is more of a serious Oscar-worthy film instead of summer action blockbuster material?

December 26th, 2002 - After sadly neglecting the news site for some time, here is at least one worthy addition. The teaser trailer for the film has been released.

June 7th, 2002 - A cast member (he is supposed to be playing "Jack Nasty Face") has started an online diary of his experiences on the film shoot. if you can forgive his expletives and talk of strip clubs in the local area, you should be able to get some interesting tidbits.

June 6th, 2002 - Richard McCabe will play the part of Dr. Maturin's alcoholic assistant surgeon.

May 31st, 2002 - B.C. Men ship out for Crowe sea epic

May 29th, 2002 - According to, Ian Mercer has been cast as Mr. Hollar. Also, rumor has it that Tommy Flanagan (played the vengeful husband in Braveheart and played opposite Crowe in Gladiator) has been cast.

May 7th, 2002 - Russell Crowe Told to Lose Flab for 'Far Side'.

April 30th, 2002 - 2,000 men pack casting call for sea saga

February 25th, 2002 - British actor Paul Bettany joins cast of The Far Side of the World.

Russell Crowe, after winning best actor at the BAFAS, is quoted as saying that one of his costars from A Beautiful Mind, Paul Bettany, has signed on to join him in The Far Side of the World. The 31 year old Bettany played a modernized rendition of the writer Geoffrey Chaucer in last year's A Knight's Tale. See the full article at Yahoo.
February 14th, 2002 - Russell Crowe confirms casting in Swedish interview.
From the Swedish news site AftonBladet comes an interview where Russell Crowe confirms that he will indeed be in Weir's new film. The translated excerpt is as follows:

[Interviewer] You should have made "The Cinderella Man" with Lasse Hallstrom. Why didn't that happen? 

[Russell] I got an offer from Peter Weir, one of my favourites. And his film has to be made at a specific time of the year, because of weather conditions. Whereas Lasse's film can be shot anytime. I had several sleepless nights after Weir rang. I have grown up with Peter Weir's films and he had been working on "Far Side Of The World" with me in mind for five years. I had to say yes.

February 9th, 2002 - $135 million dollars
From Variety comes mention that the budget for The Far Side of the World will be $135 million. This would easily make it Weir's most expensive film. (The Truman Show was budgeted at only $60 million.)

February 7th, 2002 - Peter Weir casting for extras in Poland.

From the Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza, comes news that the actors that came out to the Los Angeles casting calls did not fit Weir's vision of tired faces of 19th century and that the director has turned to Poland in hopes of finding the proper look there. The original article (in Polish) can be found at Gazeta Wyborcza. Meanwhile, here is a rough English translation courtesy of a member of the Peter Weir Mailing List:


A two day long casting session for the latest movie from the Australian director Peter Weir has begun on Tuesday in Sopot. The director is looking for persons aged 18-30 with a tired look on their faces.

"Weir noticed the Slavic looks. He found tiredness in them. The director did a casting session in Los Angeles, but he didn't like the Hollywood look. They didn't match his vision of the tired faces of XIXth century men." - said the Australian director's Polish representative Mr. Janusz Hetman from the "Tumult" Foundation that organizes the Camerimage Festival. According to Hetman, Weir's decision to look for extras in Poland is also a sort of a homage to the organizers of the Camerimage Festival, where the Australian director won one of the prizes three years ago.

The main casting for the movie will be held in Ireland, Scotland and England. The choice of extras in Poland is supplementary. Last week a casting session for Weir's latest work was held in Torun. About 600 persons applied.

The organizers of the Polish casting session will choose about 70-80 persons from among the volunteers. The final decision on who's going to appear in the movie will be made by the director on the 19th of February in London. The movie is expected to include 25 Polish extras.

The work on Weir's new production will begin in June this year on the coast of Mexico and will take about four months. 80 percent of the movie will be shot at sea.

January 26th, 2002 - New film gets ready to set sail in Rosarito

January 18th, 2002 - Update on casting and HMS Rose en route to California for film preparations

According to Dark Horizons, Russell Crowe and Heath Ledger were both up for different roles (presumably Ledger would have played Maturin) but that the studio told Peter Weir that he could have Crowe OR Ledger but not both. So when Crowe came on, Heath Ledger was taken off the casting list and replaced with Ralph Fiennes.
According to the HMS Rose newsletter, the ship is heading to Puerto Rico for a few days of rest and repair before heading to the Panama Canal. The ship is said to have endured some fierce storms off the coast of South Carolina but emerged relatively unscathed.
January 17th, 2002 - Russell Crowe rumored to be in talks to play Jack Aubrey. More casting calls
According to the New York Post gossip column and Australia's Sofcom News, Russell Crowe is to take on the role of Jack Aubrey in The Far Side of the World. Presumably this is the role previously rumored to be going to Heath Ledger.

According to the Tallship Newswire, Peter Weir is looking for tall-ship sailors to work as actors and extras. Men and boys (ages 10 to 40) of "all colors, shapes and sizes" are needed. Filming is to run from June to mid-October. Filming will be based out of Rosarito, Baja, New Mexico. 

January 15th, 2002 - Casting for midshipmen in London.
Casting is supposed to be going on in London for 3 mishipmen, aged 13-15, for Peter Weir's film. Also, the film is to be a "huge budget movie" and that some of the great water tanks used for the making of Titanic will be used for the filming.
November 19th - Peter Weir at the National Museum in Greenwich, London.
Peter Weir and his wife are said to have been visiting the museum to research various details for the upcoming film.
November 13th - Studio go ahead and a new working title.
20th Century Fox has given the go-ahead for the film, under the working title of The Far Side of the World. The film is expected to be shot in Mexico. View entire article at Sydney Morning Herald.

May 17th, 2001 - More "evidence" that the film will actually be "The Far Side of the World"?

Although still takes you to the Fox Movies site, no longer seems to exist. (Though it is still officially registered with Fox Movies.)

April 19th, 2001 - A blurb from Variety mentions the following: 

"Also on the horizon, Fox is eyeing a late-year production start for a Peter Weir-scripted adaptation of Patrick O'Brian's nautical novel Master and Commander, with Weir directing the story of a British Royal Naval Officer given command of a ship during the Napoleonic War."

April 16th, 2001 - Some interesting tidbits from the HMS Rose FAQ

Although "Master and Commander" is the working title of the film, it appears that much of the story will be drawn from "The Far Side of the World", which is book #10 in the series. (Note: takes you to the Fox Movies web site. None of the other titles have been registered for domain names yet.)

The official owner of the HMS Rose is now Seven Seas Ventures, Inc. of Providence, RI.

April 9th, 2001 - According to the official site for the HMS Rose, the ship will only be taking a temporary leave for filming: 

"Rose has been cast to play the role of HMS Surprise in a forthcoming major motion picture... It means that the ship will be taking a sabbatical from sail training this year. Although it may seem an unfortunate development to her many supporters from schools, colleges, universities and the general public they'll be pleased to know that when Rose returns to her education mission she will be a vastly improved ship. Modifications and improvements scheduled to begin soon should include new decks, sails, running rigging, engines, bow & stern decoration improvements and more."
March 27th, 2001 - Heath Ledger (who played Mel Gibson's son in The Patriot) is supposedly in talks for one of the roles in the film.

March 25th, 2001 - The Rose was never truly appreciated here
Commentary on Bridgeport's loss of the HMS Rose

March 24th, 2001 - Most want Rose to stay
Local reaction to news of the sale of HMS Rose.

March 24th, 2001 - Goodbye Rose: Filmmaker pays $1.5 million for Bridgeport Frigate
Peter Weir purchases the tallship HMS Rose for a series of upcoming movies.

August 27th, 2000 - An article from Ain't it Cool News basically says the following: Peter Weir came aboard the Rose in Halifax for two meetings with Captain Bailey. Bailey was informed that Weir was scouting ships for an O'Brian film and that the Rose topped his list. Filming will take place next summer.

August 10th, 2000 - Peter Weir may set sail with O'Brian's 'Master'
First official news that Weir was considering this as his next project.

August 2nd, 2000 - FILM: Peter Weir's Voyage
Director Peter Weir has said a report that he will direct an adaptation of one or more of Patrick O'Brian's nautical novels as his first film since The Truman Show is "premature". 

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