Netflix workplace comedy God’s Favorite Idiot, produced by and starring Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, is set to shoot in NSW’s Northern Rivers.
The 16-episode series is the latest recipient of the government’s Location Incentive Program, receiving a $10 million grant to head Down Under.
It follows mid-level tech support employee Clark Thompson (Falcone) who finds love with co-worker Amily Luck (McCarthy) at exactly the same time he becomes the unwitting messenger of God.
Announced supporting cast include Yanic Truesdale, Usman Ally, Ana Scotney, Chris Sandiford and Steve Mallory, with the latter also an EP. Falcone created the series, with Michael McDonald attached to direct.
McCarthy is familiar with Byron Bay, having recently starred in Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers, from Blossom Films/Made Up Stories.
Falcone and McCarthy, a husband and wife team, said: “To have the opportunity to safely film our show in a beautiful country like Australia is a dream come true. We love this country, and the talented people who live and work here. A special thank you to Chris, Luke, and Liam Hemsworth for volunteering to carry us to and from work with their wonderful powerful arms.”
More than 300 local cast and crew are expected to be employed on the production, and more than $74 million injected into the economy. In addition, the series will engage approximately 1,000 local businesses.
God’s Favorite Idiot is the tenth production to be lured to Australia since the government pumped an additional $400 million into the Location Incentive Program in July. Other recipients include Australian Survivor, The Tourist, Thirteen Lives, Escape From Spiderhead, Pieces of Her, Blacklight, Irreverent, Joe Exotic and Young Rock.
“These global productions continue to provide opportunities for the Australian screen industry. With the excellent reputation of our cast and crew, complemented by Australia’s careful management of COVID-19, the Location Incentive is generating return business that is growing and enhancing our sector,” said Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher.
New South Wales Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said: “I am delighted that NSW is the go-to destination to attract significant international productions. With support from our Made in NSW fund, this exciting new Netflix series will provide highly skilled jobs, bring significant expenditure into regional areas and will showcase our beautiful Northern Rivers area.”