Kung fu comedy to premiere on ABC2
Kung fu, karaoke and comedy are just some of the ingredients that make up Maximum Choppage, a new 6 x 30 min comedy series from Matchbox Pictures.
Starring Lawrence Leung, Jason Chong and Stephanie Son, Maximum Choppage sees Simon Chan (Leung) return to his hometown of Cabramatta after studying at a legendary martial arts school in Beijing. At least, that’s what his mother thinks, and has been telling everybody who will listen. In reality Simon has been studying Marshall’s Art School, in Melbourne – which becomes a bit of a problem when he finds out the entire town expects him to fight the gangs that have been ruling the Cabramatta streets.
Producer Sophie Miller tells IF that it was a mixture of kung fu, comedy and the Cabramatta setting that drew her to project originally.
“I was working in development at Matchbox at the time and was in the initial pitch meeting,” she says. “It felt vivid and unique and I thought it had great potential as a series. Tony Ayres wrote a pitch document that was greenlit for development by ABC2. He then became an EP on the show along with Debbie Lee. Julie Eckersley and I stepped in as producers to develop the series, with Linda Micsko joining us once the show was financed. As the show developed, I worked with a really talented team of writers, Lawrence Leung, Duncan Sarkies and Josh Mapleston in a showrunner capacity to oversee the creative vision for the show. We were also really fortunate to have great partners in EP’s Rick Kalowski and Brett Sleigh at the ABC who really got behind the project.”
The emphasis of the suburban setting will likely draw comparisons to the success of Redfern Now, though Miller notes they started developing Maximum Choppage before Redfern Now went to air.
“We hope the show resonates with audiences because they find it funny and full of heart. Cabramatta provides such a unique setting that is rarely depicted on our screens, let alone in a comedy. We hope people will be as excited by the world of the show as we are,” she says. “Because we started developing Maximum Choppage before Redfern Now went to air, we didn’t draw inspiration from it as such. That said, the unique sense of place Redfern Now evokes certainly adds to its distinctiveness, which is something we have tried to do with Maximum Choppage.”
Maximum Choppage premieres on ABC2 at 9pm, Tuesday 24th February.