Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths.

Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths will be joined on screen by a host of new faces for the second season of the ABC/Blackfella Films’ Total Control, including Wayne Blair, who will also direct all six episodes.

Steph Tisdell stars in her first dramatic role, alongside other new cast members such as Alex Dimitriades, Colin Friels, Harry Greenwood, Rob Carlton, Daniella Farinacci, Brenna Harding, Benedict Hardie, and Anita Hegh.

Returning are Rob Collins, Anthony Hayes, William McInnes, Huw Higginson, Wes Patten, Lisa Flanagan and Harry Richardson.

Filming is currently underway, with production to take place across Sydney; Canberra, including at Parliament House, and Broken Hill.

The first season of the multiple AACTA Award-winning drama saw political newcomer Alex Irving (Mailman) engineer a coup against Rachel Anderson (Griffiths), the Prime Minister who appointed her to the Senate. 

Season two sees Alex running as an independent. She’ll be ready for the inevitable dirty campaign tactics and to compete against the well-financed machinery of the major parties.  Making her job harder, she’ll be confronted by vile online trolls, threats against her family and political opponents riled by the audacity of a Black woman standing up for the voiceless. Can Alex survive a system determined to shake everything she values?

The second iteration’s scripts have been penned by Stuart Page, Larissa Behrendt, Angela Betzien, Pip Karmel and Nakkiah Lui. Darren Dale produces, with Griffths and Page executive producers together with Kelrick Martin and Sally Riley from the ABC.

Screen Australia’s Indigenous department, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland and Screen Canberra have provided financing.

Mailman said: “It’s a great feeling to be on set as the cameras roll on season two. We have a fabulous team of cast and crew, the scripts are fantastic, and I’m loving getting back into the skin of Senator Alex Irving as she continues her fight in the corridors of Parliament. I can’t wait for people to see the continuation of this story.”

Disney’s ABC Studios in the US is currently working on a pilot adaptation of the show with Keshet Studios, Universal Television and ABC Signature, where it will be called Dark Horse. Stumptown story editor William Jehu Garroutte, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, is writing the scripts, with Jessica Goldberg (The Path) to be the showrunner. Griffiths and Blackfella Films’ Dale and Miranda Dear will be among the executive producers.

Griffiths said: “In the wake of the announcement of the American remake of Total Control and the first seasons’ huge success, I couldn’t be more excited to start filming our second season. I have no doubt that it will be as startlingly relevant and deeply emotional as our first, and that fans will be riveted as they follow Deb Mailman’s epic journey through the rapids of power.”

All3Media International is handling international sales.

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