In 2017 Seven announced a biopic of Shane Warne.
Varna was announced at the same time as drama projects from Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton-John, which struggled for the network and no doubt stalled them from moving forward with Warne’s drama.
Interestingly, it was to be produced by Screentime, which produced the Nine miniseries, with the same screenwriter.
An excerpt from Upfronts 2017: Seven highlights originally released on October 16, 2016:
Shane Warne is a walking tabloid headline. Ladies, parties, ladies, high waists and ladies. He loved being married but couldn’t help it. And while he went from scandal to scandal he was also, despite all this, the greatest cricketer of his generation. Warnie explores the paradox of the century’s most admired, criticized and publicized Australian sportsman. Written by Matt Ford, produced by Kerrie Mainwaring and produced by Rory Callaghan and Julie McGauran, Warnie is a Screentime production, a Banijay Group company for Seven, with assistance from Screen Australia and Film Victoria.
But the project was later criticized by Warne himself.
Seven’s then-CEO, Seven West Media Chief Executive Officer Tim Worner later said, “We’re really looking forward to it. It’s very early with the first draft of a treatment. So we’re at a point where we’ll know soon after the work is done whether or not we need 2 actors to play Young Shane or ‘Older and Wiser Shane.’”
When asked if Seven had spoken to Warne before announcing the project, Worner replied, “No.”
“I think I saw something on Twitter. He’s a bit of a fan of old Twitter.”