Australia's Answer To Red Dawn, Coming In SeptemberS

When Iron Man opened in Australia, it was preceded by a new movie trailer featuring nubile vacationing teens, beautiful landscapes... and attacking bombers. The apocalypse has come to Australia, courtesy of Pirates Of The Caribbean's Stuart Beattie.

It's the trailer for a new movie, Tomorrow When The War Began, based on the novel by John Marsden. Never heard of it? The book was an English class staple in high school for now-twentysomethings. It's about Australia being invaded on a national holiday — the identity of the invaders being a mystery — they're apparently human, just not Australian. (Marsden intentionally leaves it ambiguous.)

Here's the new trailer:

The film also has a Facebook group with tons of photos and screencaps.

I can remember reading it when I was still in High School, with my English teacher using the books to open our minds to the existence of Australian science fiction. The novel was so popular at the time that it was not quite the Harry Potter or Twilight of the 90s, but a close second.

Published in 1993, it follows the young protaganist Ellie, as she and her friends go camping in the Aussie outback. Things change when they see a large number of airplanes fly past with no lights on. When they return to their hometown of Wirrawee, everyone is missing and animals are dying. After splitting up to investigate what's going on, they discover the worst. Wirrawee has been invaded by a hostile force — and it seems a full scale national invasion has occured.

This book kicked off a whole series: The Dead Of The Night, The Third Day, The Frost, Darkness, Be My Friend, Burning For Revenge, The Night Is For Hunting, and The Other Side Of Dawn, spanning from 1993 to 1999. (Three more books in "The Ellie Chronicles" extended this from 2003 to 2006. While I Live, Incurable and Circle of Flight follow the events in the main books via the protagonist's journal.)

For years author John Marsden has tried to get a faithful adaptation to the silver screen. From the looks of the trailer, we might finally have the right blend of hope and despair from this group of unknown teenage actors.

This is the directorial debut from Stuart Beattie, who also wrote the script. Everyone's hoping this will be better handled than G.I Joe, and steer more towards his earlier works, Collateral and Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Production began in September 2009, teasers hit the internet last month and trailers have hit Australian cinema this Thursday. There's no release date in the United States yet, but if the film's successful, it could launch a slew of sequels.