The new Australian crime/drama/comedy The Mule could be a game changer for the way local industries distribute and promote their films. The offbeat film about a pathetic drug mule is set for release on December 7th – not in cinemas, but on iTunes!

The Mule is a black comedy, about a klutzy Aussie man who returns from Thailand with a stomach full of drugs, and the subsequent waiting game the police officers who arrest him play by locking him up in a hotel room until he empties his bowels.

Surprisingly, it’s not the film’s wacky premise that has had tongues wagging this month, but the film’s distribution decision. Aside from a handful of Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, The Mule will not be released in any cinemas, instead it is available for download (paid) on iTunes from December 7.

According to co-director, co-writer and star Angus Sampson, taking The Mule directly online means it will skip the lengthy four month waiting period between a limited cinema release and then the DVD launch, and in turn, could potentially reach a much wider audience. The film will also be available to stream in America, Canada and New Zealand, breadth that the usual channels for an indie Australian release would prevent.

The Thornbury actor says another main motivation behind the revolutionary release was wanting to “put the viewer first at every step of the way of this film…we want the reader in Preston who can’t get a babysitter on Saturday night to read about it or hear about it and press a button and watch it.”

Shot in and around Footscray, Thornbury, St. Kilda, North Melbourne, Coburg, Sunshine (and Bangkok) early last year, the film has utilised great Australian talent, being executively produced by Chopper‘s Michelle Bennett, and co-written by Wilfred‘s Jamie Brown.

The Mule boasts an impressive cast too, with veteran Aussie exports Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) and John Noble (Fringe) taking the helm alongside household names Ewen Leslie (Jewboy), Noni Hazlehurst (City Homicide) and Geoff Morrell (Ned Kelly).

The Mule will be available to download from December 7th on iTunes.

Check out the official trailer below: