Sequel to Chopper in the works?


The further adventures of Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read

Seems Eric Bana has grown accustomed to his flat stomach and rock-hard abs. Ain’t no chocolate-covered sugar-encrusted banana sundae going to tempt him into going from an L to an XXL again.

According to the legendary Melbournian crook himself, Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read, a sequel to the 2000 hit “Chopper”, in which Bana rose to fame playing the titular underworld figure, is in the works, but the original star has refused to appear in it.

Bana, who is now one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, piled on 30 pounds to play the role in the first film. Either because he doesn’t want to go through that again, or he just feels “there’s nothing left to tell” – he’s flat-out turned down the lead in the follow-up.

Instead, Read tells, a new actor will be bought in to wear the thongs and don the clipped ears of Pentridge Prison’s former favourite inmate. (Not that the film could’ve afforded the increasingly popular Bana, seen in Spielberg’s “Munich” earlier this year).

“Chopper” (2000), from director Andrew Dominik, summarised the events of Read’s life as one of Australia’s most prolific criminals. Convicted of many crimes including armed robbery, firearm offences, assault and kidnapping, Read spent a mere 13 months outside prison between the ages of 20 and 38, then went on to become a successful author of crime novels, selling in excess of 500,000 copies of his works. He most recently did a stage show with Mark ‘Jacko’ Jackson. Ironically, Read himself later went into acting, playing a character called ‘Eric Banner’ in the film “Trojan War”.

No word on when Read’s going to start auditioning for “Chopper 2”.