One of my childhood idols, Wednesday Adams (or Christina Ricci) has arrived in Sydney today ahead of filming an upcoming feel-good Australian drama titled Around The Block, which is taking place (funnily enough) on The Block in Sydney’s geo-centre of gentrification, Redfern.

Inside Film is reporting that Ricci will play an “unconventional” (in that she’s idealistic) American drama teacher, Dino Chalmers, who forges a friendship with one of her students at Redfern High School (which I imagine would be like Heartbreak High), who is torn between his love of the theatre and preventing the disintegration of his family.

Superintendent Chalmers will attempt to stage a production of Hamlet by likening rhyming couplets to hip hop verses, forcing her student protege Liam to make a tried and tested Sophie’s Choice between a life of crime championed by his older brother and a life of thespian pursuits inspired by his off-beat but totally admirable drama teacher (shout out to my drama teacher, Heartbreak High alum!). Who will win out?! My guess: theatre! Admittedly I’ve only seen one of these films through half-closed high-school eyes, but doesn’t that sound like a thematic motif explored in Dead Poet’s Society or that Michelle Pfeiffer movie with the Gangsta’s Paradise soundtrack? Or even Billy Elliot?

Around The Block will also star executive producer Jack Thompson, Matthew Nable, Damien Walshe-Howling and Ruby Rose, who recently revealed the following about Around The Block when we caught up with her to talk about lesbian dating (read the full interview here):

[I’m shooting] a film with Christina Ricci. I mean my role is small but it’s going to be an amazing film and I’m really looking forward to doing it.

[Can you give us the two sentence synopsis?] Well, it wasn’t even meant to be publicly announced yet, it was sort of leaked out so I probably shouldn’t say too much. But I can say that it’s an Australian writer named Sarah who wrote the screenplay and it was originally going to be an Australian production with an all Australian cast but they took it overseas and the response was such that it’s now gone international and has a huge name like Christina Ricci attached to it.

The ABC is also set to air Redfern Now later in 2012, a six-part drama made entirely by indigenous filmmakers that we’ve pegged as one of the Top 10 Local TV Shows To Watch In 2012.

Redfern – your time is actually now! We’ll definitely be watching.

Side note: When I went to embed this video, the ad before the clip was for government assistance! Coincidence?
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty.