The disappearance of Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe and how his family coped in the aftermath has been proposed as the subject of a feature film aimed at worldwide release.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe announced on Sunday they had struck a deal with Australian producer Rod Hopping after talking with his production company Heritage Films for more than 12 months.
The film, tentatively titled Where Is Daniel?, has been slated for release some time in 2016.
But a script is still to be written and the project is yet to secure its financing.
Bruce Morcombe said they would work closely with the writers to ensure the right interpretation of their story was coming across.
“We feel very comfortable that the project will be what the Morcombes want, it’ll be what the viewers want and at the end of the day it’ll be a great package,” he said.
“But it’s not a documentary, it is a feature film and we appreciate that artists see the world very differently to the parents of Daniel Morcombe.
“What they see, what they interpret will be something really interesting and we look forward to that journey.”
Daniel Morcombe was 13 years old when he went missing on the Sunshine Coast in 2003 while waiting for a bus at Woombye.
Last year, Brett Peter Cowan was sentenced to life in jail for the teenager’s murder, but has appealed against his conviction.
Bruce Morcombe said he expected a ruling on Cowan’s appeal would be handed down soon.
Hopping said he was thrilled he had gained the trust of the Morcombes.
“We believe that some of the roles that will be on offer will draw in some of Australia’s best recognised international talent,” he said.
“Our goal is also to be able to take this story globally.”
The film’s director, Peter Cousens, said they were aiming for a budget in the region of $5 million to $10 million and would film extensively around key Sunshine Coast locations.
“We chose the idea of making a movie, a full feature film of this story not only because of the size of the story and the complexity of it but we felt that it would be a way to elevate Daniel’s story and the Morcombes’ story to a global stage,” Cousens said.
“We’re very keen that this film takes the message that Bruce and Denise have created out of their own pain and suffering and found a way to give it purpose and meaning.
“We’re keen to very much see our major international performers and actors take a part in the film and we believe that the film has some profound messages.
“Not only about the battle between good and evil and really the sweet revenge that the Morcombes have served up to evil, but also the extraordinary uplifting story that Bruce and Denise have been able to create for themselves and create for our community in Australia.
“We have a long journey ahead of us but we’re extremely excited by the possibilities of this film.”