The ABC has announced a new 8 part drama series after greenlighting The Slap, based on the novel by Christos Tsiolkas.
Matchbox Pictures picked up the rights to the novel in May.
The story by Tsiolkas (Loaded), is triggered when a man slaps a child at a suburban barbeque. This event, told from the point of view of 8 people, ricochets through a group of family and friends, dividing and changing them.
The book has won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, the Australian Book Industry Book of the Year award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the ABA Book of the Year and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature Gold Award.
Tsiolkas is Associate Producer and Story Consultant on the series which will be produced by Helen Bowden (Lou, Girl in a Mirror,) and Michael McMahon (The Home Song Stories, Saved), Tony Ayres (Saved, Walking On Water) is the Script Producer, Penny Chapman (My Place, RAN) is Executive Producer.
Writers will include Alice Bell (Suburban Mayhem), Emily Ballou (Father Lands), Michael Miller (East West 101, The Secret Life of Us), Kris Mrksa (East West 101, The King, Underbelly) and Cate Shortland (Somersault).
ABC TV’s Acting Head of Drama Amanda Higgs says, “The Australian novel that provoked fiery discussion from offices to dinner parties to mothers’ groups and suburban barbeques will become the most talked about series on television. It is terrific to be collaborating with our partners at Matchbox Pictures.”
Christos Tsiolkas says, “The ABC has always felt like the natural home for The Slap. It’s an opportunity to develop a ground-breaking piece of television that embodies a rawness and a diversity that we haven’t seen on our screens before.
“I am particularly excited by the calibre of the writers and the producers on this project, some of the most exciting talents working at present in our film and screen culture.”
The series will begin development in November with production to take place in Melbourne in 2010.