Jackie Weaver joins the cast of Stan/Playmaker series Bloom

• Production under way in Victoria on six-part drama series

Stan has announced that two-time Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom) will return home to head up the cast of the groundbreaking new Stan Original Series Bloom, alongside Bryan Brown (The Light Between Oceans, Red Dog True Blue, Gods of Egypt), Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals, Safe Harbour, The Vampire Diaries, The Affair), Ryan Corr (Holding the Man, Hacksaw Ridge), Daniel Henshall (Okja, The Babadook, Snowtown) and Sam Reid (’71, Prime Suspect 1973, The Railway Man).

Bryan Brown credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Production has commenced in Victoria on the brand-new six-part premium drama, with acclaimed film director John Curran (Tracks, Chappaquiddick, Praise) at the helm.

The Stan original series is funded by Screen Australia and Stan and produced by Sony Pictures Television’s production company Playmaker.

The six-part drama is set one year after a devastating flood kills five locals in an idyllic country town. A mysterious new plant subsequently appears with the power to restore youth. It’s a gift of power beyond the wildest imagining… a phenomenon so formidable that attempting to harness its potency means re-evaluating everything that’s important. It’s a miracle some will kill to keep secret.

Also joining the cast are a mix of rising stars and Australian screen legends including Genevieve Morris (No Activity, That’s Not My Dog!), Anne Charleston (Neighbours, Emmerdale, Prisoner Cell Block H), Terry Norris (Jack Irish, The Dressmaker, Killing Time), Amali Golden (The Other Guy), Nicki Sheils (The Eye of the Storm, Neighbours), Tessa Rose (Glitch, Cleverman), John Stanton (Dr Blake Mysteries, Beneath Hill 60) and Rod Mullinar (Reef Doctors, Dead Calm).

The series is created by Glen Dolman, who first received critical acclaim for Hawke and has since gone on to work in US television (High Life and the forthcoming The Ark and the Ardvaark). The series is produced by Sue Seeary (Love Child, House Husbands and Bite Club) and shot by AACTA-winning cinematographer Geoff Hall (Wolf Creek, Red Dog, Chopper). Mat King (Pine Gap, Dr Who, Law & Order United Kingdom) will direct the final episodes of the series.

Currently filming in various locations across Victoria, the mystery drama series will premiere exclusively on Stan this summer, with Sony Pictures Television to distribute the premium drama globally.

Stan’s chief content officer Nick Forward said “The assembled cast, including the remarkable Jacki Weaver, is a testament to the uniqueness of Glen’s vision, the scale of the production and the calibre of Playmaker and Sony as our local and international partners on the project. With a director of John’s track record behind the camera we couldn’t be more excited to be kicking off production across Victoria on our biggest Original yet.”

Playmaker’s David Maher said: “The team at Playmaker and Sony Pictures Television are extremely pleased to be working with such a stellar lineup both sides of the camera for Bloom and we’re excited to be heading into production on this ambitious new series.”

“It is excellent to see Stan continually commissioning such unique Australian series,” said Sally Caplan, head of production at Screen Australia. “We’re thrilled to be supporting Bloom and were intrigued by this highly distinctive sci-fi concept. Writer Glen Dolman has done a tremendous job in localising the genre and we look forward to seeing his vision come to life, especially with the cast involved.”

Creator Glen Dolman said: “Bloom is a gothic fairytale about the scarcity of time and the choices we make.

“We all like to think that we have a degree of control over our lives and fates. This notion is then shattered if we’ve ever experienced a natural disaster or freak accident. We starkly realise that our lives can be instantly and randomly taken from us. While it may feel like a betrayal by nature (such as with our freak flood), it’s the ‘deal’ we all have to accept. Life is fleeting and arbitrary. But it’s also why it’s meaningful.

“We have no guarantees of a future and we can’t relive the past. All we have is now.

“That idea is played out in Bloom via our inexplicable ‘offering’ – a mystical plant, growing where the five locals drowned – with the power to restore their youth. What may at first appear to be a gift soon seems more like a curse, but will ultimately turn out to be a kind of ‘karmic lesson’. It allows our protagonists to re-evaluate their lives and confront their regrets.

Bloom offers the wonder and wish fulfilment of returning to your physical prime – with heightened energy, passions and desires – but with a dramatic price: your deepest regrets become your uncontrollable compulsions. These conflicting obsessions make our “rejuvenated” characters clash, sometimes violently, and give us the gothic aspect of our story, which – while grounded and emotional – also operates as an escapist, cinematic, six-hour feature with mystery, humour and horror.

“However, the heart of our series is about the intimate, domestic, human moments. It’s about the awe and weirdness of seeing the love of your life young once again. It’s about what you might do if you suddenly rejuvenated and what your deepest regrets might be. We want our audience to be pondering these questions and arriving at their own answers.”

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