Foxtel has commissioned Picnic at Hanging Rock with FremantleMedia Australia to produce the new premium drama as a trailblazing re-imagining of the timeless Australian novel by Joan Lindsay.
Foxtel Chief Executive Officer Peter Tonagh announced the new drama commission today in his keynote address at the 2016 ASTRA Conference in Sydney.
Picnic at Hanging Rock is in pre-production as a 6 x 60 minute event drama which has secured production investment from Screen Australia.
The drama will plunge viewers into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day 1900 and the far-reaching aftermath.
Foxtel Head of Drama Penny Win said “We are very proud to commission this exciting television event drama exclusively for Foxtel subscribers. Like many others, I am a fan of the 1975 Australian film which was pivotal in establishing the modern Australian film industry. This series, based on the classic novel, will take viewers on a new and in depth journey into this incredibly iconic Australian story.
“Our aim is to provide a rich and diverse slate of Australian drama for our viewers and Picnic at Hanging Rock is a story that we feel will intrigue and enthral a contemporary audience.”
FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama Jo Porter said “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Foxtel, Screen Australia and our distributors FremantleMedia International to bring this iconic and timeless Australian classic story to the screen for a new generation.
“It is testament to the originality of author Joan Lindsay that her novel, charting the chilling mystery of the inexplicable disappearance of the three school girls and their teacher at Hanging Rock and the secrets this event lays bare in its wake, still feels just as fresh, unsettling and relevant today.
“Bea Christian and Alice Addison’s incredible scripts are both brilliant renderings of this mystery and provocative explorations of the underlying themes of gender, control, identity and burgeoning sexuality. The producer is the highly esteemed Antonia Barnard.”
Screen Australia Chief Executive Office Graeme Mason said: “Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of the true icons of the Australian film industry, having launched careers for the likes of Jacki Weaver and John Jarratt.
The opportunity to again see this mythic tale on screens for a whole new generation was irresistible, especially in the capable hands of Australian producer Antonia Barnard and FremantleMedia executive producers Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis. With the recent success of The Kettering Incident, we’re thrilled to again be working with Foxtel to bring more premium Australian drama to television screens.”
Picnic at Hanging Rock’s executive producers are FremantleMedia Australia’s Jo Porter and Anthony Ellis and Foxtel’s Penny Win, the producer is Antonia Barnard and writers are Beatrix Christian and Alice Addison. FremantleMedia International is distributing the series worldwide. Casting is underway.
Picnic at Hanging Rock will premiere on Foxtel’s showcase channel in 2017.