Pukeko Pictures and Australia’s Goalpost Pictures have begun production in Sydney on Cleverman, an official Australia-New Zealand co-production. Weta Workshop and Bangarra Dance Company’s Jacob Nash provide creature design. Park Road will handle picture, VFX and sound post.
The 6×1 hour show, now being shot in Sydney, was commissioned by the ABC’s Indigenous Department. The ABC’s Sally Riley, head of the Indigenous Department, said Cleverman would be “a major drama highlight for ABC TV in 2016”. Riley called the show “a bold new world where Aboriginal stories and legends meet high concept genre drama”.
Red Arrow International will distribute worldwide. No sales have yet been announced for other territories, including NZ.
Per the media release:
A smart, sexy and dangerous drama set in the near future, Cleverman sees a group of non-humans, battling for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior to them and want to silence, exploit and kill them. Central to the drama is the story of two estranged Indigenous brothers who are forced together to fight for their own survival. Otherworldly creatures also emerge into this ‘real world’ dystopian landscape, in this startlingly original, action-packed genre series.
Wayne Blair, director of Goalpost’s smash hit The Sapphires, is lead director with Leah Purcell also directing.
The ensemble cast includes several faces familiar to Australian audiences led by
Cast from further afield are Scottish actor Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Golden Globe nominee Frances O’Connor (The Missing), Rob Collins (The Lion King) and Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games).
Angela Littlejohn will produce for Pukeko, with Martin Baynton and Adam Fratto Executive Producers. The show, then travelling as Project CM, was granted Screen Australia support in August last year.