TEN reveals Wake in Fright cast

A marquee cast of Australian male actors will front TEN’s two-part telemovie, Wake in Fright.

Sean Keenan (as recently hinted by TV Tonight), David Wenham, Alex Dimitriades and Gary Sweet will star in the remake of the classic Australian novel, joined by actress Caren Pistorius.

Keenan will play will play John Grant, a young school teacher who descends into his own personal nightmare after being stranded in the small outback mining town of Bundanyabba. David Wenham will play Jock Crawford.

Also appearing are Robyn Malcolm, Lee Jones , Anna Samson, Hannah Frederiksen and Jada Alberts.

Filming begins this week in Sydney and Broken Hill on a script penned by Stephen M. Irwin. The project is produced by Helen Bowden and Kristian Moliere and directed by Kriv Stenders. It is also now a co-production between Lingo Pictures and and Endemol Shine Australia, with Jason Stephens, Mark Fennessy and Carl Fennessy to executive produce with TEN’s Head of Drama Rick Maier.

Rick Maier said: “There are few Australian stories as original or compelling as Wake In Fright. This contemporary, edge-of-your-seat mini-series will be one of the year’s most talked-about television events.

“Working with the team from Lingo Pictures and Endemol Shine Australia, writer Stephen Irwin and director Kriv Stenders has been an exercise in pure professionalism. We are incredibly excited to see what this all-star cast brings to this brilliant material.”

Lingo Pictures’ Producer, Helen Bowden, said: “Generations of Australians have had nightmares after reading Kenneth Cook’s 1961 novel Wake In Fright. Set in one of the most inhospitable places on earth – the outback – this is a story filled with menace and mystery.

“Stephen Irwin’s vivid scripts have attracted the cream of our acting talent. And who better to direct this gripping psychological thriller than Kriv Stenders. Lingo Pictures is very proud to be making Wake In Fright for Network TEN with this team.”

Director Kriv Stenders said: “It’s such an honour and thrill to be a part of this incredible project. Being able to enter into the world of Kenneth Cook’s original novel of Wake In Fright and imagine a new story from a contemporary perspective has been one of the most creatively exciting experiences of my career so far.”

Head of Content Beverley McGarvey recently said, “Wake in Fright is more of a psychological thriller.

“There is a market for a high-end, premium, thought-provoking thriller. It’s a miniseries with marquee casting and a very compelling story. So it won’t be action (driven) but gripping for other reasons.”

It will air later this year.



  1. I loved the original movie. I hope it lives up to that. It was shot so beautifully too. The scenery felt baron, isolated, yet hauntingly beautiful. And in amongst that was the slow burn story of the teacher trapped in a living hell. Hopefully they can recreate that feeling with the series.

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