1992’s ‘Romper Stomper’ (Photo: Moviestore).
When Geoffrey Wright and Dan Edwards started talking about Wright’s seminal 1992 movie Romper Stomper, they wondered what might have happened to some of the survivors and their descendants 25 years later.
Together with Dan’s father John Edwards, they pitched the idea to streaming service Stan, which today announced it has commissioned a 6-part series. A nine-week shoot will begin Melbourne on Friday, with production to be handled by Roadshow Rough Diamond.
Wright, Daina Reid and Kiwi James Napier Robertson (The Dark Horse) are co-directing, with scripts by Wright, Robertson, author/poet/rapper Omar Musa and journalist Malcolm Knox.
Wright’s debut movie starred Russell Crowe as Hando, the ringleader of a group of ultra-violent neo-Nazi skinheads, together with Jacqueline McKenzie and the late Daniel Pollock.
The series will follow Toby Wallace as a young guy, possibly Hando’s son, who is estranged from his mother (McKenzie) and seizes control of a far-right group named Patriot Blue.
Lachy Hulme plays the group’s leader, David Wenham is a right-wing shock jock and Dan Wyllie will reprise his role from the film as Cackles, a man who turns out to be a lot smarter than he seemed. The cast also includes Sophie Lowe and John Brumpton, who played Magoo in the film. The series will also follow events from the Muslim point of view.
Rough Diamond’s John Edwards, who is producing with Dan, told IF, “We pitched it to Stan as a noisy show which is contemporary and will be controversial, and that is exactly what they want.
“Much of what we see on Australian television is so lame and tame. The characters in the film were on the fringe of society. Now it’s 25 years later, Trump is in power, it’s right wing versus left wing and they are meeting in the centre.”
Screen Australia and Film Victoria are co-funding the series and DCD Rights is the international distributor. Bonnie Elliott is the DOP.
Romper Stomper is the latest addition to Stan’s Originals, which include the second season of Screentime and Emu Creek Pictures’ Wolf Creek and Aquarius Films’ The Other Guy, written by and starring Matt Okine, which premieres on August 17.
Stan’s chief content officer, Nick Forward said: “With such an extraordinary creative team, Romper Stomper will be unmissable television, as provocative now as the film was in 1992, examining at a personal level the hatred, fear, vengeance and politics hidden in plain sight all around us.”
Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan said: “Few Australian films provoked more social commentary than Romper Stomper did in 1992. With prolific producer John Edwards and Geoffrey Wright at the helm, this project came to us with an exceptional creative vision, now supercharged by a stellar Australian cast. We commend Stan on taking a risk with this story and are delighted to partner with them once again as they continue to expand their original local content offerings.”
Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi said: “In 1992 Film Victoria supported Geoffrey Wright as he set the Australian feature film world alight with his fearless debut feature Romper Stomper. Twenty five years later we are delighted that he is leading this re-imagining of the original story along with the equally talented Victorian director Daina Reid and being produced by John Edwards and Dan Edwards from Roadshow Rough Diamond.”
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At a Stan media event on Monday, Leanne Tonkes, producer of The Second, said the thriller will have a two week exclusive cinema season before its premiere on Stan next year.
Directed by Mairi Cameron and written and co-produced by Stephen Lance, it is the first feature commissioned by the streaming service, co-funded with Screen Queensland.
Rachael Blake plays a successful author who heads to her remote farm with her publisher (Vince Colosimo) to work on her difficult second novel. Susie Porter plays an old friend who turns up, causing chaos.
Tonkes added that she hopes cinemas will continue to screen the film after its Stan launch.
Stan CEO Mike Sneesby announced Stan has boarded Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, a 10-part anthology produced by Sony Pictures Television based on Dick’s short stories, for Amazon Prime Video in the US and the UK’s Channel Four.
The cast includes Timothy Spall, Steve Buscemi, Benedict Wong, Anna Paquin, Aussie Essie Davis, Terrence Howard, Vera Farmiga, Greg Kinnear and Bryan Cranston, who also serves as an executive producer.
Billed by Sneesby as a Stan Originals series, it will premiere later this year.