Paul Kelly’s ‘How to Make Gravy’ to be Turned into Christmas Film by Warner Bros. (EXCLUSIVE)

How to Make Gravy film rights
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Australia

‘How to Make Gravy’, Paul Kelly’s iconic 1996 Australian ballad, is set to be turned into a Christmas film, Variety Australia can exclusively reveal.

Warner Bros. Australia, in partnership with Speech and Drama Pictures, has secured exclusive international film rights and will spearhead the production.

‘How to Make Gravy’ tells the story of a prisoner named Joe who writes a letter to his brother Dan about his longing to be with family at Christmas.

The song’s iconic opening lines reveal the letter is being written on Dec. 21, which has since colloquially become known as ‘Gravy Day’ in Australia.

Michael Brooks, managing director of Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia, noted this gave the song ‘cult status’ as well as a spot on the country’s festive calendar.

“It’s a privilege to be given the opportunity, alongside our partners Megan [Washington] and Nick [Waterman] at Speech and Drama, to unravel the mystery and meaning captured in Paul’s now iconic lyrics and bring this incredible story to screen,” Brooks added.

Washington, the Platinum-selling and ARIA Award-winning musician and screenwriter, alongside screenwriter and director Waterman, concurred that ‘How to Make Gravy’ is the perfect recipe for a feature film.

Musician and screenwriter Megan Washington is also involved in the project. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Australia

“Its characters are already beloved by so many who have imagined the story behind Joe’s letter themselves – there’s so much to be found in the space between what he must be feeling in prison at Christmas and what he writes in his letter to his brother. This song holds a special place in our hearts. It’s an honour to be brining it to life,” the duo said.

‘How to Make Gravy’ originally appeared on Kelly’s EP of the same name in November 1996.

The same character Joe, who writes the iconic letter sung by Kelly, also appeared in his 1987 track ‘To Her Door’ and 1994’s ‘Love Never Runs on Time’.