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New movie about Donington hero Flinders: Stars from The Hunger Games and Harry Potter are on wish-list

World famous stars are on a film company’s wish list for a proposed movie focusing on Donington-born hero Captain Matthew Flinders.

Matthew Flinders
Matthew Flinders

Tim Purcell, director of Tropikana Studios, which has offices in Mauritius and the UK, is keeping British star Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and Dublin-born Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter) in mind to play Flinders.

Lily-Rose Depp is prime choice for Delphine d’Arifat, who was the love interest for Flinders while he was held prisoner on Mauritius during the Napoleonlic Wars.

Flinders had mapped the coast of Australia - proving it to be an island - and was sailing home when he was forced to put in to port in French-controlled Mauritius because his unseaworthy ship was in danger of sinking.

He was unaware hostilities had once more broken out between the British and the French, and was arrested as a spy. His detention was to last seven years.

Tim Purcell, who also plans to make an eight-part, high end TV series and documentary on Flinders, was in Donington’s St Mary and the Holy Rood Church last night as an expert visiting from Australia, Dr Gillian Dooley, spoke about Flinders’ remarkable life.

Matthew Flinders is a national hero to Australians but in the UK it is primarily the people of Donington who keep his name alive, although Prince William unveiled a statue of Flinders at Euston Station in 2014.

HS2 head of heritage Helen Wass beside the Matthew Flinders statue at Euston
HS2 head of heritage Helen Wass beside the Matthew Flinders statue at Euston

In January this year, Flinders’ remains were found at a nearby site as archaeologists working on the HS2 project excavated a graveyard.

Flinders’ grave was identified by a lead breast plate that bore his name.

Tim said: “It is my contention that Matthew Flinders’ detention in Mauritius cost him his rightful place in UK history, not only as the person who proved Australia to be an island continent - and give it that name - but also as probably Britain’s greatest navigator, hydrographer and cartographer.

“To all intents and purposes his career ended in Mauritius, where he is credited with contributing to the treaty that allowed its people to keep their customs and language.”

Tim explained Flinders was never to be given another command, or go to sea again, and spent the last four years of his life completing his charts and book, Voyage to Terra Australis, that was to be delivered the day he died.

Since Matthew Flinders' remains were found in January many voices have joined a campaign to allow him a final resting place inside Donington Parish Church.

Will Donington's church become a final resting place for a hero?
Will Donington's church become a final resting place for a hero?

Our previous stories include:

UPDATE AND VIDEO OF EXCAVATION SITE: Remains of Donington-born Matthew Flinders discovered

Donington's most famous son: Government back campaign to have Matthew Flinders returned to home village

Donington sets up group dedicated to bringing home Matthew Flinders

MP wants a Donington homecoming for Matthew Flinders

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