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Published: November 2008The Life: Richard Flanagan
Photo: Richard Flanagan

Richard Flanagan: The Man Who Invented Australia

Why Hollywood’s next great visionary is loath to leave the outback.

Text by Laurel Berger
Photograph Matthew Newton

Don’t expect to see screenwriter Richard Flanagan anywhere near the red carpet when Australia hits theaters this month. The Tasmanian novelist and leading conservationist spent nearly two years penning the script for director Baz Luhrmann’s $100 million outback epic starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but he’s far more at ease paddling the remote waters near his home in Hobart than navigating the channels of big-budget Hollywood. A Rhodes scholar who left school at 16, Flanagan is a former river guide and bush laborer who has earned a reputation as one of Australia’s most celebrated novelists. He spoke to ADVENTURE after filming had wrapped about the imperfect nature of moviemaking, his attraction to no-man’s-lands, and why, after four successful, critically acclaimed novels, he decided to try his hand at Hollywood.

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