Australia's homegrown streaming entertainment service Stan is developing a spin-off series of the Australian horror/serial killer movie Wolf Creek. The new series will once again star John Jarratt as the psychopathic Mick Taylor with the films' original writer/director Greg McLean also returning. In other words, the battle for streaming supremacy in Australian lounge rooms is about to get much bloodier.
Just like in the US, original programming is set to be one of the chief selling points and differentiators for streaming entertainment services in Australia. Netflix already has a swathe of self-produced content spearheaded by the popular House Of Cards, while Presto provides various exclusives from Foxtel's own stable. On the downside, nearly all of these shows are American.
If you're keen to watch original television that has a local flavour, Stan might be a better bet. The Nine/Fairfax streaming service has just announced the development of two Australian productions that will be offered exclusively through Stan.
The first is a six-part spin-off of the horror movie Wolf Creek and its sequel. If you like this sort of stuff, the production has a pretty impressive pedigree: the Screentime-produced series will include the talents of Wolf Creek writer/director Greg McLean, writer/producer Peter Gawler (of Underbelly fame) and the return of the original movie's star, John Jarratt.
Here's the press release announcing the new show:
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.”
If you prefer less blood-and-guts in your television series, Stan's other local production might be more up your bag. Enemies of the State from Essential Media is a political drama based on the life of High Court judge Lionel Murphy.
Like Wolf Creek, the production contains plenty of famous talent: it will be developed by writer/producer Peter Duncan (Rake) with writing duties fulfilled by Robert Connolly (Paper Planes, Gallipoli) and Q & A host Tony Jones.
Here's the spiel from Stan:
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.”
Both shows are currently rolling through the development cycle and will be officially commissioned at a later date. If neither of these shows take your fancy, don't fret too much — Stan plans to bring more local productions to the screen as its user base widens.
While we're on the topic of TV adaptations of Aussie movies, what would you like to see remade? We reckon Gregor Jordan's Two Hands would be a brilliant series; perhaps an alternate reality version where Bryan Brown's mob boss Pando is still ruling Kings' Cross in Stubbies shorts and thongs. Alex Proyas' Dark City could also translate well to the small screen. In fact, just remake all of these.
[Via TV Tonight]