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Star Wars actor Temuera Morrison is set to play rugby coach Eddie Jones in an upcoming film about the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Specifically, the film covers one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports, the match between Japan and South Africa, which ended in Japan clinching a narrow shock victory.

The working title of the film is aptly named ‘The Brighton Miracle’, and is being directed by award winning Max Mannix.

Mannix seems to be a perfect fit for the film, given that he has spent much of his career writing and directing in Japan, as well as having experience as a rugby league player.  Early announcements about the film were originally reported in Kyodo News. Filming started in January on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Morrison to star as Eddie Jones

Temuera Morrison will portray Eddie Jones in the upcoming film.  This is set to be a key role, with the film delving into Jones’ character and his past as part of the bigger picture of how Japan overcame the odds to beat South Africa.

Eddie Jones is now the coach for the England national team.  He will lead them in the Six Nations competition, which England and Wales are close favourites to win, as well as coaching them during the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Back in 2015, Jones was the coach for Japan during their best World Cup run ever.  Though ‘The Brighton Miracle’ will focus on the actual rugby match, it will also delve much deeper into issues around class, belief and inspiration.  Temuera Morrison will represent the man who’s hope lead to an unbelievable sporting moment, one that is perhaps worthy of a movie.

Jurassic Park actor Sam Neill will play Jones’ dad, and help to explore the coaches’ background and the elements that led to him creating the self-determination Japan needed to win. Australian Uli Latukefu will play Japan’s captain at the time Michael Leitch, while the director says that real players will be used for the on-pitch action to make the rugby more real.

The upset that made history

Photo by Dɐ // CC BY-SA 3.0
Japan qualifying for the Rugby World Cup is shocking enough, but they went on to beat two-time champions South Africa.

‘The Brighton Miracle’ is based on the game between Japan and South Africa in September 2015. Going into the match, no one expected that Japan would have a chance; here was a team who had only won one of their 24 World Cup games in history, and who were once beaten 145 – 7 by New Zealand.

After a really close game, Kaine Hesketh put away the final try of the match in the 84th minute. The final score: 34 – 32. Japan then went on to win a further two games, becoming the only team to miss the knockout stages and head to the quarter finals with three pool wins.

It’s not only this moment, but also the determination behind it that Max Mannix wishes to capture with his upcoming rugby film.

The Temuera we all know and love

Temuera Morrison first came to prominence through his role in the New Zealand soap opera, Shortland Street. But that’s not the Temuera we know and love. Of course, all Star Wars fans will recognise Morrison from his roles in the Star Wars films as Jango Fett and the army of Fett clones.

He played Jango Fett in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, as well as doing the physical and voice acting for the clone army.  He also played a number of clones in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and again lent his voice to a number of clones.  In the 2004 DVD re-release of the original trilogy, he also re-dubbed the voice for Boba Fett.

Morrison has also starred in many of the recent Star Wars video games, again handling the voice overs for Jango and Boba Fett and the army of clones, including Battlefront I and IIStar Wars: Bounty Hunter and even the LEGO Star Wars games.

His career includes everything from Hollywood hit films like Barb Wire and The Green Lantern, to the low budget Australian alien invasion film he featured in last year, Occupation, not forgetting his recent role in ‘Aquaman’.  A true jack of all trades, but always Jango Fett to fans of the Star Wars franchise.