Jub Clerc and Aaron Pedersen.
Fans of Aaron Pedersen’s Detective Jay Swan can look forward to more Mystery Road adventures on the big and small screens.
Ivan Sen has written the first draft of the script for the third movie in Bunya Productions’ franchise, the follow-up to Goldstone, and Pedersen hopes to shoot in Coober Pedy, with Sen again directing.
In Jub Clerc’s first Deadly Yarns webinar for Australians in Film yesterday, Pedersen also said he is in discussions with Bunya’s David Jowsey for a third series of Mystery Road.
Wayne Blair and Warwick Thornton co-directed the second season, which rated strongly for the ABC.
The series was sold widely by All3Media International, including to BBC2 in the UK, Arte in France/Germany and Acorn TV in North America
Jowsey tells IF a third movie had long been planned, observing: “Jay Swan is a great character and we want to keep the story going.”
In a wide-ranging chat with Clerc, Aaron recalled that Sen wrote the character of Swan for him after they had been talking about race relations, country and land, both traditional and contemporary, and the hybrid world they live in.
“The great thing about it is the building blocks: it gets stronger and stronger every day,” he said.
Describing himself as an “actorvist,” the actor described the Black Lives Matter movement as a massive healing process.
He said: “I think there will be more opportunities. People are not going to remain silent or unheard. Stories need to be told on so many levels. I don’t think we will be marginalised any more.”
Pedersen and author Holly Ringland are fronting Back to Nature, a factual lifestyle series for the ABC that explores the Australian landscape and uncover unexpected stories designed to reconnect audiences with the land. Shooting has resumed after the hiatus, produced by Media Stockade and Threshold Pictures.
He hopes to start filming the next series of the ABC/Easy Tiger’s Jack Irish in Melbourne in October, but that may have to be delayed due to the pandemic.
Pedersen revealed he wanted to be an actor ever since he saw Bob Maza playing a lawyer in the SBS/ABC miniseries Women of the Sun when he was a 10-year-old living in foster homes in Alice Springs.
He got the chance to tell Maza when they appeared together in the ABC series Heartland in the 1990s, which marked Pedersen’s screen debut.
“That one moment I had watching uncle Bob Maza changed everything for me and gave me the incentive to believe in myself and to carve out a career in the industry,” he said.
Jub asked him about The Circuit, the Kelly Lefever-created SBS drama which marked the first time an Indigenous man played the lead in a TV series.
Catriona McKenzie and Richard Frankland were among the directors and the writing team included Dot West, Beck Cole, Michelle Torres and Wayne Blair.
Aaron signed on to play a lawyer knowing only that the show was set in the judicial system in Western Australia.
He recalled giving workshops at schools in Darwin while he was appearing in a play there 15 years ago. As it happened, two of those students were Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens.
Delighted to discover they were inspired by his visit, he said: “They are great storytellers and they are having phenomenal careers.”
Asked if he ever aspired to work overseas, he said no, explaining: “I’ve never really considered it 100 per cent. Why go overseas and be unemployed when I can stay at home and work?”