Updated: Rachel Griffiths and Mandy McElhinney have been cast in the lead roles in Paper Giants: Magazine Wars, ABC’s miniseries sequel to Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
Griffiths will play magazine editor Dulcie Boling while McElhinney has been cast as rival Nene King.
McElhinney (MDA, Kath & Kim, The Bank) will be seen as secretary to Lachie Hulme’s Kerry Packer in Nine’s Howzat! miniseries. She also appears as ‘Rhonda’ in AAMI’s Bali ad.
Produced by Mimi Butler, Magazine Wars tells the story of two women, Nene King and Dulcie Boling, who started a circulation war that totally rewrote the rules of journalism in Australia.
ABC says of the storyline,”It’s 1987. Hair is big. Shoulder pads are wide. The Royals are still a family. Flamboyant deputy editor Nene King storms out of New Idea to become editor of Women’s Day, determined to overthrow the immaculate queen of women’s magazines, Dulcie Boling. The ‘new’ journalism was a potent mix of celebrities, gossip, clairvoyants, paparazzi and gave rise to cheque book journalism in Australia. Not only does the public lap up the excesses, celebrities play the game, learning to exploit the magazines they claim to despise. Even the once untouchable Royals – Charles and Diana, Fergie and Andrew – are devoured by a media and public for whom nothing remains sacred. The Magazine Wars create a monster, but will it finally turn on its makers?”
Rob Carlton also reprises his role as Kerry Packer, who while at the height of his power is forced to face mortality.
Also appearing are Angus Sampson, Khan Crittenden, Caren Pistorius, William Zappa, Alex England and Lucy Bell.
Producer, Mimi Butler of Southern Star said, “We’re very excited to have Rachel and Mandy playing these formidable women, Dulcie Boling and Nene King. It’s been a dream story to work on, the drama’s all there – it’s quite Shakespearian. Set in the kingdoms of Packer and Murdoch; there’s rivalry and rebellion, love and tragedy, and great victories along the way – all taking place amid the decadence and rock and roll of the 80s and 90s.”
ABC TV Head of Fiction, Carole Sklan said, “From an outstanding creative team and an exciting cast, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars brings to life two fascinating women and the rivalry that transformed publishing. This remarkable story anticipates the current controversy over the role of the media in the private lives of celebrities.”
Written by Justin Monjo and Keith Thompson, the series will be directed by Daina Reid (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Offspring, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Howzat!)
Filming begins in Melbourne on August 13.