A biopic about Bon Scott's early life is in the works: Boy Swallows Universe actor Lee Tiger Halley set to star

Bon Scott and Lee Tiger Halley press photos
(Image credit: Bon Scott: Dick Barnatt/Redferns via Getty Images | Lee Tiger Halley: Halo Films)

A film about the early years of late AC/DC frontman Bon Scott is currently in development in Australia. The film, entitled The Kid From Harvest Road, will tell the story of Scott's early years in the Western Australian town of Freemantle. 

"We are thrilled to embark on this journey to illuminate the early years of Bon Scott," says Ian Hale from Halo Films. "His story is one of resilience, passion, and the relentless pursuit of his dreams. Through this film, we aim to honour his legacy and inspire audiences with the transformative power of music and determination."

Another Freemantle local, Lee Tiger Halley, has been picked to play the young Bon Scott. Halley is best known as a breakout star of Netflix's adaptation of Trent Dalton’s 2018 award-winning novel, Boy Swallows Universe, in which he played Gus Bell, the brother of main character Eli.

The Kid From Harvest Road's screenplay will be written by Stephen Belowsky from Protocol Pictures, who says, "I was truly inspired by his charismatic character, but what interested me most was his early, life not the caricature we all know on stage. The teen who walked the streets of Fremantle... this is a love letter to Fremantle and Bon reimagined through the eyes of the author."

The film is being made "with no objection from Scott’s estate", although American actor and singer Rob Liotti, who was slated to play Scott in a biopic a decade ago – a film that was reportedly shelved because the late Malcolm Young didn't grant permission for AC/DC's music to be used in the film – has expressed some doubts.

“I honestly wish them all the luck," says Liotti in a statement, "but my experience with the subject matter was difficult, and I am just not sure what the fan interest will be regarding a screenplay that focuses solely on Bon’s pre-AC/DC story. It was certainly an aspect of what I had proposed, but, let’s face it, the vast majority of fan intrigue are Bon’s years with AC/DC. Films are ultimately about money; that’s the financial reality. 

"They attempted and produced the Jimi Hendrix biopic without his actual music, and the film tanked badly. I do understand that Screen Australia may be pledging support (to my understanding) but my biggest takeaway so far is the statement ‘the Bon Scott Estate has not objected...’ While I can appreciate that, that is not the Estate’s authorisation for story rights. That is certainly a much different matter. In any case, I do wish them luck, but it may be a hard road. Time will tell."

Filming is expected to begin in early 2025.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.