A couple of years ago a friend of filmmaker Tony Ayres gave him a tantalising “what if” proposition: What if there was a small country town in Victoria where people who had been dead for up to 200 years came back to life?
That sparked an idea which he developed with writer Louise Fox and has evolved into Glitch, a six-part supernatural drama for the ABC. Screen Australia has agreed to co-fund the Matchbox Pictures production, which is due to start shooting in October.
The key character is the town’s cop, James, whose wife died from breast cancer two years earlier and reappears. Each episode will introduce a succession of undead characters. No director has yet been announced.
“We don’t often do high-concept supernatural drama in Australia,” Ayres tells IF. “It’s my favourite genre. It will be a very Australian spin on the genre. We are looking for emotional truth.”
According to the storyline, the fictional town becomes “the gothic rural backdrop to a tale of love and redemption, of second chances gained and lost, of vengeance and forgiveness. As the Risen discover who they are and why they have returned, those around them are also faced with a perplexing new reality, challenging all the beliefs and ideals they held dear.”
The producers are Ewan Burnett (The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Small Time Gangster, Dead Gorgeous) and Fox (whose writing credits include Broadchurch, the miniseries Camelot and Love My Way). The writing team includes Kris Mrska and Giula Sandler.
As the executive producer, Ayres will start work on Glitch as soon as he finishes the second series of fantasy action adventure Nowhere Boys for ABC3. The series will be sold internationally by Matchbox’s parent NBCUniversal.
Ayres is also co- EP of the US remake of The SIap, which is being produced by Universal TV and Matchbox Pictures for NBC. Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) has signed to direct the first two episodes and executive produce all eight episodes. The adaptation of the Australian drama is written by Brothers & Sisters creator Jon Robin Baitz.