Paul Kelly’s ‘How To Make Gravy’ set to become a Christmas film

Paul Kelly’s ‘How To Make Gravy’ set to become a Christmas film

How To Make Gravy
words by sidonie bird de la coeur

With Warner Brothers securing the rights to the Australian musician’s iconic ballad, ‘How To Make Gravy’ is set to be developed into a Christmas film.

Telling the story of a prisoner named Joe writing a letter to his brother Dan, there aren’t many songs that have cemented themselves within our culture as much as How To Make Gravy. With December 21 every year being celebrated as ‘How To Make Gravy Day’, the iconic Australian ballad is set to take on a new form with Warner Bros. Australia securing the global rights to the song for film adaptation.

What you need to know

  • Paul Kelly’s iconic How To Make Gravy is set to be developed into a film
  • Warner Brothers Australia have secured the exclusive filming rights
  • The plot of the song is set to be adapted into a Christmas movie

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

How To Make Gravy is a tale of longing to be reunited at Christmas, as the song narrates the letter of an incarcerated Joe. “Who’s gonna make the gravy now? I bet it won’t taste the same / Just add flour, salt, a little red wine / And don’t forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang” he explains the recipe to his brother, all the while reminiscing and mourning being away from the family. “Dan and Joe and Rita and Angus and Dolly and all the others have been stuck inside that song so long, I’m glad they’re going to get a chance to live life a different way!” says Paul Kelly on the news of the film adaptation.


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“Paul’s beautiful song is the perfect recipe for a feature film,” says screenwriter and director Nick Waterman and Ara Award winning musician and screenwriter Megan Washington. “Its characters are already beloved by 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 bring it to life.”

For more information about Warner Brothers Australia and their up and coming projects, head here.