Nine / Fairfax streaming service Stan has announced their first two production development deals under its original programming plans: a spin-off of the movie Wolf Creek and a political drama based on the life of High Court judge Lionel Murphy, Enemies of the State -the latter co-written by Tony Jones.
These are the first of several deals to be announced in the coming months.
Wolf Creek from Screentime is being developed by writer/director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek, Rogue), writer/producer Peter Gawler (Underbelly), writer Felicity Packard (Underbelly) and executive producer Greg Haddrick (Underbelly, Anzac Girls). John Jarratt will reprise his role.
Enemies of the State from Essential Media will be developed by writer/producer Peter Duncan (Rake), writers Tony Jones (Q & A) and Robert Connolly (Paper Planes, Gallipoli) and producer Ian Collie (Rake, Jack Irish, Saving Mr Banks).
“Original productions have always been part of Stan’s programming plans. Before we move to the commissioning stage, we are thrilled to be working with such talented local writers and producers to kick off the development slate,” Nick Forward, Stan’s Director of Content and Product, said.
“The opportunity to create world-class shows outside the constraints of the traditional TV schedule is a fantastic brief for any producer, and we look forward to working with the best local and international creatives to bring fresh and exciting stories to the screen.”
From Screentime, a Banijay Group company, and Emu Creek Pictures, Wolf Creek is planned as a six-part series. Wolf Creek reimagined for television will be a compelling, psychologically complex and visually spectacular suspense series driven by a young woman’s quest for justice. Star of the Wolf Creek films, John Jarratt, is attached to reprise his role of the iconic villain, Mick Taylor.
Bob Campbell, Managing Director of Screentime, a Banijay Group company, said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at Stan and joining with Greg McLean and Emu Creek Pictures to develop Wolf Creek as a drama series.
“Under Greg Haddrick’s leadership Screentime has produced some of the most creative and commercially successful drama series in recent years – including Underbelly, Janet King and Anzac Girls. Combine this with Greg McLean’s unique skills in this genre and you have the potential for a compelling, edge-of-the-seat series.”
Emu Creek Pictures CEO, Greg McLean, said: “Wolf Creek and the character of Mick Taylor have become household names, and the opportunity to tell a rich and complex story in his world in a high-quality drama series is a thrilling creative opportunity. Plus, I couldn’t be more excited about collaborating with the Screentime team who consistently create outstanding entertainment.”
Enemies of the State
From Essential Media and Entertainment and Little Mates, Enemies of the State is also planned as a six-part series. The story of controversial Australian High Court Judge and Attorney-General Lionel Murphy has all the elements of a Shakespearean drama: a charming and brilliant hero, political plotting and intrigue, police spies, assassination attempts, dedicated enemies and beloved friends in power, a beautiful young wife, scandal, public denouncement and redemption.
Peter Duncan, writer and producer, said: “Tony Jones, Robert Connolly and I are bringing to life one of the great untold stories of Australian political drama. Lionel Murphy changed the nation in his time. And in pursuit of that change he brought against himself forces of enormous power who were determined to destroy him, but one of Lionel Murphy’s greatest enemies was himself. It’s very exciting to be working with Stan who are game-changers in entertainment and the way Australians view television.”