Clancy of the Overflow: According to Variety, Free Willy helmer Simon Wincer has agreed to saddle up for Clancy of the Overflow, an Aussie oater inspired by a key character in 1982 Oz hit pic The Man From Snowy River.

Producer Mark Pennell said the film, scripted by Patrick Edgeworth, will be budgeted at A$33 million ($24.7 million). Principal photography is due to start in early 2005.

Jack Thompson portrayed Clancy, a crack horseman, in the "Snowy River" pic based on the poem by bush bard "Banjo" Paterson.

Pennell declined to confirm reports he's talking to Hugh Jackman about playing the lead role; Jackman is tied to the Broadway production of The Boy From Oz through September.

Brian B.