Nine has announced the principal cast for its telemovie Panic at Rock Island, which began filming in Sydney today.
It will feature Grant Bowler (True Blood, Border Security, Ugly Betty, Lost, Outrageous Fortune) and Vince Colosimo (Underbelly, Wicked Love: The Maria Korp Story, Scorched, Australian Families of Crime, Customs) plus Damian Walshe-Howling (Underbelly, Crash Investigation Unit), Jessica Tovey (Home and Away), Dee Smart (Water Rats), Simone Kessell (Underbelly, Frost/Nixon) and Anna Hutchinson (Underbelly).
The fictional drama is set on an island in Sydney Harbour at a rock concert in summer.
“It’s all idyllic until unimaginable disaster strikes when a deadly virus is discovered on the island. Its symptoms are shocking and it brings swift and painful death,” the synopsis indicates.
The telemovie will also include performances by You Am I and Spiderbait.
Director Tony Tilse (Underbelly, Scorched, Lockie Leonard, A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne) is also the producer, along with Rosemary Blight (Scorched, Small Claims, Stepfather of the Bride, Clubland, Love is a Four Letter Word) from Goalpost Pictures Australia.
Jo Horsburgh, Head of Nine Drama, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with Rosemary Blight and Tony Tilse again, as producers, and in Tony’s case, also director. They bring great passion and excitement to the process. Panic is an ambitious, star-studded, rollicking telemovie set to entertain and thrill the audience.”
Unlike Nine’s drama slate dominated by true-crime, the fictional telemovie will follow on from the hypothetical plot of Scorched (2008) which plunged the city of Sydney into an emergency of bushfires, unable to cope with water shortages and infrastructure.
Jo Horsbugh recently told TV Tonight, “Scorched proved to be contemporary, current content because of the fires, the desalination plant and the drought. So too is Panic at Rock Island. It actually explores all the different political, community and military departments who deal with crises that happen within the city.”
It will screen on Nine later this year.