'Wog Boys' return in Kings of Mykonos
The Kings Of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 is the sequel to the phenomenally successful Australian comedy, The Wog Boy.
Released in 2000 it grossed more than $13.4 million at the Australian Box office and ranks in the top 15 of the all‐time highest grossing Australian films.
“The original idea for the Kings Of Mykonos came to me in the late 90s and was about a guy who goes to Mykonos and earns the title The King of Mykonos for bedding 43 women in one summer,” says Giannopoulos, adding that this was based on a real character he met on the island that he’s been visiting virtually every summer since 1992.
Giannopoulos says it quickly became apparent that character was never going to be right as the film’s lead, but the seed was planted for a movie based on Mykonos.
“Kings Of Mykonos stayed in my head for a long time and I kept developing it with very different types of storylines and characters– because essentially I loved the place and I always wanted to do something there – there was a certain magical quality about this Aegean island and something about the landscape that I thought would suit the right story.”
Giannopoulos slowly over the years began exploring broader themes of belonging and identity and second generation Australian migrants returning “home.” The script took on many forms until, on a flight back from LA; the idea of linking it with the original “Wog Boy” hit him.
“I never really thought about making a sequel and the idea for this film never started as a sequel ‐ it had its own life and its own characters. And then having come full circle I realised that it would actually work a lot better as a follow up. It could be a valid and interesting progression of some of the themes in the first film,” explains Giannopoulos.
“The number of people who come up to me or write to me or even on the fan pages on Facebook who constantly quote dialogue from the first film is extraordinary. I mean there are a lot of people who have watched that film 40, 50 times ‐ it’s become a part of their lives.
"So this also gave me a lot of confidence and I just grabbed a pen and I just started writing all my ideas down and by the end of the flight I had roughly plotted out a story that combined the Wog Boy characters with some of my original Kings of Mykonos ideas.”
With the added technical polish and expertise of co‐writer Chris Anastassiades, they completely reworked their earlier drafts and brought back The Wog Boy’s most memorable characters, added all the colour and characters of Mykonos, and crafted it into a buddy road comedy.
“We pick up on the fact that there are these two guys that are getting older who still haven't managed to find anyone to settle down with. They haven't really found true love and have made a lot of mistakes in their lives,” says Giannopoulos.
“Steve is obsessed by his car and his lifestyle and Frank is just obsessed with bedding as many women as he can so there is an enormous journey these two characters go on through the course of this film. There is also this recent cultural phenomenon all over the western world whereby second and third generation children of migrants travel to their parents or grandparents country of birth for the first time.
"This cultural clash/reawakening had a lot of comedic potential and really excited both Chris and myself. It’s something we hadn’t really seen in other films but had both experienced first hand when we both went back to Greece for the first time a few years back.
“So The Kings of Mykonos is quintessentially an Australian film – shot almost entirely in Greece – about what happens when cultures clash. It’s about the search for love and identity and ultimately about the underdog who prevails against the odds.”
After developing the script to a point where Nick felt it was in reasonable shape, he contacted producer Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech, Disgrace, Candy) of See‐Saw Films, who loved the idea of working with Nick, and creating a fish out of water comedy in one of the world’s most iconic islands.
“For this very ambitious project I realised that I needed a partner with a lot of international experience and success as a producer. Another friend in the industry suggested Emile to me and I knew as soon as I met him that we could work very well together and he was exactly the person I had been looking for,” explains Giannopoulos.
Giannopoulos and Sherman then approached Peter Andrikidis to direct the film. Andrikidis, best known for his recent work on gritty television drama Underbelly, had worked with Giannopoulos on Acropolis Now and jumped at the opportunity to direct the film.
The Kings Of Mykonos: Wog Boy 2 opens in Australian cinemas on May 20.