Screentime is exploring the possibility of a New Zealand adaptation of Underbelly.
The production company has received $20,000 from broadcast funding agency NZ On Air to investigate whether the project is feasible.
“We are in the very early stages of talks with TV3. It’s very much in the inception stages,” Screentime executive director and head of production Philly de Lacey told the NZ Herald.
The Underbelly format of ‘violence and sexy gangsters’ has already been applied to other criminal cases for the Nine Network including the upcoming Tell Them Lucifer Was Here.
An American adaptation is also in the works for the Starz Network.
Canterbury University criminologist Dr Greg Newbold has suggested NZ drug dealer Wayne Beri, Bassett Rd machine gun murderer Ron Jorgensen, and prison escaper George Wilder could be potential characters, but pointed out that NZ police lacks the same corruption as the Australian series.
Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities featured convicted murderer Terry “Mr. Asia” Clark who was NZ born.
Source: New Zealand Herald