Jonathan Groff and Anna Torv in ‘Mindhunter’ (Photo credit: Netflix).
Five Aussies played key creative roles in the second season of Mindhunter, the Netflix drama which follows the early investigative work of the FBI’s criminal psychology and criminal profiling division.
Damon Herriman joins the cast as serial killer Charles Manson in the series created by the UK-born, Adelaide-raised Joe Penhall and executive produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, which premieres on August 16.
Anna Torv reprises her role as Dr Wendy Carr, an intuitive psychologist who assists detectives Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany).
Kiwi-born, Australian-raised Andrew Dominik directed three episodes and Shaun Grant scripted the finale at the invitation of Theron. Fincher directed three episodes.
“Mindhunter has been a fantastic experience, the most creatively fulfilling I’ve had in television. David [Fincher] in particular has been a wonderful leader to collaborate with,” Grant tells IF from Los Angeles, where he is developing two TV series.
“Both David and Charlize had seen and read my previous work and reached out, which was flattering. The buzz of working with one of the world’s the greatest living directors was a joy. As was seeing my fellow Aussie and good mate Damon crush it in the table read as Charles Manson.
“Together with Anna, who I did Deadline Gallipoli with years ago, it’s nice to have so many Aussies involved.”
That was Herriman’s second turn as Manson following Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which opens here on August 16 via Sony Pictures.
The Atlanta Child Murders, a series of killings that took place between 1979 and 1981 and left 28 African-American children, teenagers, and adults dead, is the driving narrative in the new season.
Fincher told Indiewire he got a call from Dominik after the series aired, asking to work on the second season. “We brought him in. When God gives you a really great idea, take it,” he said.
“When we first sat down he said, ‘What is it about this world that seems so American? There is something going on here.’ I said the show is about narcissism. The show is about needing to be seen.”
Penhall studied history and English at the University of Adelaide before leaving for London aged 22 to pursue his ambition to become a playwright.
In 2009 his Hollywood breakthrough came when Australian director John Hillcoat commissioned him to adapt the Cormac McCarthy novel The Road into a film starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Last year he scripted James Marsh’s UK crime caper King of Thieves, which starred Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone and Charlie Cox.
The prolific Grant has been nominated for an AWGIE award for best adapted screenplay for Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, competing with Deb Cox’s Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears.
Grant and Harry Cripps collaborated on the screenplay of Penguin Bloom, adapted from the Australian book by Bradley Trevor Greive.
Naomi Watts will play Samantha Bloom, a Sydney woman who broke her back after a railing snapped and she fell head first onto a concrete floor while holidaying with her family in Thailand.
After being diagnosed as a paraplegic, she slipped into depression and hopelessness until her son Noah found a frail, injured magpie chick. By caring for the little bird, which the family named Penguin for her black and white plumage, she regained her strength and confidence.
Glendyn Ivin will direct the movie produced by Watts, Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea and Emma Cooper. Shooting starts next month. Roadshow Films is aboard.