Yael Stone, Shantae Barnes-Cowan, Rob Collins and Callan Mulvey.

Yael Stone, Rob Collins, Callan Mulvey and Shantae Barnes-Cowan are the topline cast for AMC Studios and See-Saw Films’ vampire series, Firebite, now shooting in South Australia.

The brainchild of Warwick Thornton and Brendan Fletcher, the eight-part series follows two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Collins) and Shanika (Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the SA desert.

It is set in a remote desert mining town, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations. Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger is growing. War is coming. Tyson and Shanika stand vanguard to the war. But what hope does an expertly reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?

There is no word on who Stone and Mulvey will play as yet. The role comes to Barnes-Cowan following her first lead role in Jub Clerc feature Sweet As, and parts in Total Control, Operation Buffalo and Wyrmwood: Apocalypse.

“Our only rule was to find great people, no matter where they came from,” said Thornton and Fletcher in a joint statement.

“We have actors who’ve worked on big Hollywood blockbusters, and others that are flying in from remote Aboriginal communities who light up the screen with natural presence. To us, they are all movie stars.”

Executive producer Rachel Gardner said: “We love our cast. They bring these characters to life with authenticity, power and a solid dose of naughty. It feels like this is going to be something special.” 

Joining Thornton and Fletcher in the directing team is Tony Krawitz, and joining the pair in the writers room were Kodie Bedford, Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.

Kristin Jones is overseeing the series for AMC Networks, with executive producers for See-Saw Films Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Rachel Gardner, Thornton and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis serves as co-executive producer, with Bedford as co-executive producer, Libby Sharpe as co-producer and Billy Bowring as associate producer. Paul Ranford will produce the series alongside Dena Curtis, who is co-producing. The writing team include Kodie Bedford and newcomers Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.

Thornton will also act as DOP, with Amy Baker the production designer.

The series has received major funding from the South Australian Film Corporation

Firebite will debut on US platform AMC+ in the Northern Hemisphere winter. A local broadcast partner is yet to be announced.

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