Foxtel green lights Picnic at Hanging Rock series

07 September, 2016 by Staff Writer

Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)


Foxtel has commissioned what it has called a “trailblazing re-imagining” of Picnic at Hanging Rock as a TV series.

Like Peter Weir's classic film, the six-part drama will be based on the 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, following the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day 1900 and the far-reaching aftermath.

FremantleMedia Australia is set to produce, with funding secured through Screen Australia.

Foxtel head of drama Penny Win said Foxtel was “very proud” to bring the series to viewers.

“Like many others, I am a fan of the 1975 Australian film which was pivotal in establishing the modern Australian film industry. This series, based on the classic novel, will take viewers on a new and in depth journey into this incredibly iconic Australian story.

“Our aim is to provide a rich and diverse slate of Australian drama for our viewers and Picnic at Hanging Rock is a story that we feel will intrigue and enthral a contemporary audience.”

FremantleMedia Australia director of drama Jo Porter said: "We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Foxtel, Screen Australia and our distributors FremantleMedia International to bring this iconic and timeless Australian classic story to the screen for a new generation.

“It is testament to the originality of author Joan Lindsay that her novel, charting the chilling mystery of the inexplicable disappearance of the three school girls and their teacher at Hanging Rock and the secrets this event lays bare in its wake, still feels just as fresh, unsettling and relevant today.

Picnic at Hanging Rock’s executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Win, the producer is Antonia Barnard and writers are Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison.

“Bea Christian and Alice Addison's incredible scripts are both brilliant renderings of this mystery and provocative explorations of the underlying themes of gender, control, identity and burgeoning sexuality,” said Porter.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of the true icons of the Australian film industry, having launched careers for the likes of Jacki Weaver and John Jarratt. The opportunity to again see this mythic tale on screens for a whole new generation was irresistible, especially in the capable hands of Australian producer Antonia Barnard and FremantleMedia executive producers Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis. With the recent success of The Kettering Incident, we’re thrilled to again be working with Foxtel to bring more premium Australian drama to television screens.”

FremantleMedia International is distributing the series worldwide. Casting is currently underway.

Picnic at Hanging Rock will premiere on Foxtel’s showcase channel in 2017.