Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films and Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories are hoping to shoot Nine Perfect Strangers, a Hulu-commissioned series based on Liane Moriarty’s latest novel, in northern NSW.
That is contingent on Border Force granting exemptions on travel restrictions to Kidman’s co-stars including Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Manny Jacinto and Melvin Gregg, plus other key creatives.
There is a production office in Byron Bay and a shoot of at least 20 weeks, which would employ a large number of Australian crew and some supporting actors, is planned – pending Border Force’s approval on visas. It’s believed a lot of the crew will be sourced from Melbourne, which is in lockdown for six weeks.
Variety broke the news of the Australian shoot in an interview with Evans, who said: “We all have to be quarantined in a hotel room. I can’t see anyone for two weeks. I have to be tested every other day.
“Everything is going to be delivered to my room and I have to stay in a room in Australia and not leave it for two weeks just so that we can then be free to go and shoot something.”
Samantha Strauss co-wrote the script with the showrunners, David E Kelley and John Henry Butterworth, who collaborated with Made Up Stories and Blossom Films on HBO’s adaptation of Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.
The series is set at a boutique health-and-wellness resort where nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this ten-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (Kidman), who is on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies.
Evans, whose credits include Crossing Swords, Midway and ITV’s upcoming The Pembrokeshire Murders, and Gregg (FX’s Snowfall) will play two of the nine “perfect” strangers.
Jacinto (The Good Place, Paramount’s upcoming Top Gun) is cast as Yao, a bright-eyed man-kid who is Masha’s right hand man and is deeply committed to her self-improvement techniques and teachings. According to IMDB, Asher Keddie is among the cast.
Variety reported: “Cast members are encouraged to dress themselves wherever possible and have to be given the option to do their own hair and makeup, including touch-ups and removal, through virtual tutorials, where feasible.”
Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Casey Haver will executive produce for Made Up Stories, along with Kidman and Per Saari for Blossom Films. Jodi Matterson is among the producers and Barbara Gibbs is the line producer.