Last week, when a teaser trailer and website appeared online for Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home, people were understandably skeptical. Starring Danny McBride as Brian Dundee, son of Paul Hogan’s legendary Mick Dundee (and offering up a bastardized, Americanized version of “You call that a knife?”), the film appeared to have come out of nowhere, with no director, no producer, and no studio attached—though Paul Hogan was in, telling People that he had long wanted “to bring Dundee to a new generation.” But with the Super Bowl approaching, film publications began to suspect that the trailer might be part of an advertising campaign, “an elaborate ruse to sell Outback Steakhouse or Bud Light or Doritos or whatever.”
It turned out to be a promo for something better than a Dundee reboot: An ad for Australia itself. As the Brisbane Times first reported, the teaser is part of a viral marketing campaign for a Tourism Australia ad, set to air during the Super Bowl.
But with the launch of the Dundee “Official Cast Intro Trailer,” people are beginning to wish this was more than just a stunt. The fake movie trailer is jam-packed with Aussie legends, plus one Kiwi: Chris Hemsworth stars as Wally Jr., the American Dundee’s outback guide; Aussie soap opera darling Margot Robbie is the beer-skulling, “free beer”-chanting Lil’ Donk; Russell Crowe plays the Murdoch-esque J.P. Steele (does this mean Australia can claim Crowe now?); Isla Fisher is kangaroo-treating veterinarian Dr. Clark; Ruby Rose plays Police Chief Jackson; the younger Hemsworth, Liam, is whale-loving Wes Windsong; Jessica Mauboy plays jazz singer Miss Thompson; while Luke Bracey is “The Cricket Legend” (yes, that’s a job in Australia). Hugh Jackman, in what we can only hope is a glimpse into the future, plays the Prime Minister. No sign yet of Hogan, but you can be certain he’ll be making an appearance: The vague, nonsensical, not to mention unrealistic plot revolves around Mick Dundee being lost in the outback.
This is what Baz Luhrmann’s Australia should have aspired to.
Tourism Australia is known for using celebrities to try to lure Americans to its shores, though it’s never tried this many at once before. Dundee star Chris Hemsworth is the current Tourism Ambassador—he narrated this stunning 2016 campaign—while Crocodile Dundee himself starred in Tourism Australia’s most successful ad to date, the 1984 campaign, responsible for a 54 percent increase in holiday visa applications from the U.S. and the infuriatingly inaccurate but unshakeable Aussie catchphrase “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you.” (Australians call them prawns.) Can’t wait to see what mangled Aussie slang we ’Strayans spend the next 30 years enduring as a result of Dundee: The Son of a Legend.