Beatrix Christian; Shannon Murphy (Photo: Rupert Reid).
Shannon Murphy is attached to direct and Beatrix Christian to write a series adaptation of the Emily Bitto novel The Strays for See Pictures and the UK-based Apogee Pictures.
Inspired by the Heide Circle, the novel, which won the 2015 Stella Prize, explores what happens when a violent act in the past of a subversive group of artists is linked to the death of a young woman in the present. One of those involved must decide whether to expose a now influential member of the establishment in order to prevent further tragedy.
The co-production will be produced by Sonia Borella (Go!, Long Story Short) for See Pictures and Jo Monk (Hampstead, Kodachrome) for Apogee Pictures. Both will attend Content London next week to meet with potential partners.
Christian will be the lead writer, with the series intended as a 6 x 1 hour. The attachment of Murphy as director comes after her feature debut Babyteeth was met with critical acclaim at the Venice International Film Festival, where it made its world premiere in competition. Recently named one of Variety’s Directors to Watch in 2020, Murphy is currently in the UK shooting the third season of Killing Eve.
Christian said: “The Strays is an incendiary device beautifully disguised as a girl’s memoir and it is absolutely current. It explores a frightening blind-spot in the worldview of people who are otherwise progressive.”
Borella and Monk said: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating in adapting Emily Bitto’s brilliant and timely novel. To be working with some of Australia’s most formidable and exciting talent is a testament to the strength of the material. Set against the hedonistic art world of 1930s Sydney, and 1970s London during the rise of the feminist movement, the series is a searing psycho-sexual drama that brings into sharp focus some pressing questions about sex, power, complicity and blame.”