Rebel Wilson and David Wenham will head up the cast of a new 10 part ABC drama, Les Norton.
Based on the novels by Robert G. Barrett the series follow the exploits of Les Norton, a country bloke from outback Queensland in 1985. On the run from a troubled past, he blows into Sydney where he lands a job as a bouncer at a notorious illegal casino in Kings Cross. A classic fish out of water who’s desperate to get home, he soon finds himself seduced by the city’s illicit charms and dragged into a web of underground criminality.
The title role is to be played by Alexander Bertrand (pictured, Australian Gangster, Hide & Seek).
Produced by Daniel Edwards and John Edwards from Roadshow Rough Diamond, it will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker, Proof), Fadia Abboud (Australian Gangster), David Caesar (Dead Lucky, Underbelly) and Morgan O’Neill (Drift, Solo).
It has been created for television by Morgan O’Neill, working alongside writers Christopher Lee (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Samantha Winston (Wentworth), Shanti Gudgeon (Wolf Creek), Malcolm Knox (Romper Stomper), and Jessica Tuckwell.
“Les and his reprobate mates are caught up in a Sydney that was at its most debauched in the ‘80s, and the show’s blackly hilarious as a consequence,” John Edwards said.
ABC’s Sally Riley says: “We are over the moon that Les Norton has lured such a stellar cast and creative team to bring the novels to life. Les Norton is shaping up to be an enviable addition to the ABC’s 2019 drama slate”.
Head of Content at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan said: “Les Norton is an affable character that has proven popular with audiences in the best-selling book series. What excites me about this TV adaptation is that the creative team have included a slew of new female roles to go head on with the male characters established in the books.”
Create NSW Acting Director of Screen Investment, Engagement & Attraction Sally Regan said, “This adaptation of Robert G. Barrett’s classic Aussie larrikin character will undoubtedly bring a smile to a wide audience across the country. Backed by a strong production team, Robert’s popular books are perfect for screen adaptation and we look forward to seeing Les’ ‘fish out of water’ escapades unfold.”
Les Norton is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC, in association with Create NSW. International sales by Sonar Entertainment Distribution. ABC Head of Drama, Comedy & Indigenous Sally Riley will work as Executive Producer with Andrew Gregory; Deeper Water Films’ John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz; and John Singleton and Jack Singleton.