Panic at Rock Island cast announced

Grant Bowler, Vince Colosimo, Damian Walshe-Howling and Anna Hutchison all appear in Nine's new telemovie set on Sydney Harbour.

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.

16 Responses

  1. Well it needs to be 1000000x better than Scorched as it was a very poor movie. The best thing Scorched had going for it was the viral marketing done by Kate Bell and the guy that played her boyfriend.

  2. There was a call out for Sydney-siders who would like to make up the audience in MX earlier this week – they’ll be filming these scenes next Thursday with the aforementioned bands…

  3. Come on guys, step out of the box and take a risk with some inspired casting, not the same rehashing! And the story premise … are we going for Max Mad, end-of-the-world at a Rock Concert? Paaahlese. Doesn’t anyone watch international television and see how the clever networks do it. Oh well, back to boring basics on Oz tv.

  4. Good cast for the most part, great to see Dee Smart again, but Vince Colosimo? The guy can only play one character.

    As for movie, it sounds crap. Very, very crap. What’s with all these pseudo sci fi telemovies? I’ll take a production like Hawke anyday.

  5. What a predictable, safe and boring cast. Props to nine for backing a tele movie though. But please… give us some talent, not middle of the road actors to bore us to death.

  6. Virus infection i.e. Zombie movie? Could be interesting.

    Seems to be cutting it awfully fine to have it on screens this year; give it justice Nine don’t rush it and just air it Feb next year; I think it could come across awfully rushed should it screen before December.

  7. Lol @ Chk Chk. Get that screenplay written!!

    I agree, Ja’mie. Aussie telemovies do tend to play it safe and go with the natural disaster. Bout time they took a risk to entertain their audience.

  8. Panic at Rock Island????????? Are you freakin’ kidding me? That title is absolutely pathetic, it sounds like an episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Surely that is only its working title?

  9. They have only begun principal filming today and it is teh second week of August and they still expect this to screen this year. Ratings end before too long, so I dont think so!!

  10. Looks promising, I wish it’s a Lady Gaga concert instead as she might be wearing different costumes as the virus infection reaches its deadly stage and using her machine gun bra, she’s gone berserk and will attempt to kill all her fans in the process. Of course, Adam Lambert will come to her rescue and using his uber dark eyeliner in tandem with Julie Bishop’s deadly stare, the virus has no chance to survive and everybody will be cured, the end.

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