Australian teen novel On the Jellicoe Road is being adapted into a series by Australian & international producers.
Werner Film Productions, Germany’s ZDF Enterprises and Wild Sheep Content, the content business set up by former Netflix international exec Erik Barmack, are developing the project.
The book, written by Australian author Melina Marchetta, was first published in Australia in 2006 and in the US in 2008. It centres around 17-year-old Taylor Markham, leader of the boarding school underground community on Jellicoe Road. Taylor was abandoned by her mother when she was 11, and her only recollection of her father is a brief memory of standing on her father’s shoulders. The only adult influence in her life is her mentor and guardian Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river, and writes stories about five kids who lived there in the 1980s and who has suddenly vanished into thin air at a time when Taylor really needs her.
To top all of Taylor’s problems off, there is a territory war going on between the Boarders, the Townies (kids from Jellicoe Town) and the Cadets (Sydney boys who come to Jellicoe for a six-week training exercise every year). The leader of the cadets this year happens to be the very boy who Taylor ran away with when she was 14 in search of her mother. The one who betrayed her trust and she never wanted to see again.
Dance Academy writer Samantha Strauss and Secret City writer Angela Betzien are on board to help adapt.
Joanna Werner (pictured) said, “On The Jellicoe Road is one of my favorite books of all time and I am so thrilled to be developing this with Melina, Erik, Fred and all at ZDF Enterprises. It is an enthralling, sophisticated, complex and gripping teen story which I can’t wait to see on the screen.”
Broadcasters are yet to be announced.