There seems to be a gross shortage of original ideas at Murdoch’s film and TV production companies.
Over in the US, Fox Studios is having another lash at an Agatha Christie fave (take a wild guess). In Australia, it’s Foxtel and the Ten Network (Foxtel has a near 14% stake in Ten) grabbing a couple of old Australian movie hits and remaking them for TV. (All evidence of how decisions by osmosis are internally communicated among the Murdoch empire’s various arms.)
First it was Foxtel, earlier this week, with its re-imagining of Picnic At Hanging Rock — a six-part series of one of the real icons of Australian cinema. This morning it is the Ten Network with the remake of another icon, Wake in Fright, perhaps the most brutal depiction of the realities of Australian life ever made. The two-part series (in other words, a mini series that will attract a fatter tax credit) will be produced by Lingo Pictures in association with Endemol Shine Australia, with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen NSW. It will premiere on Ten and WIN networks in 2017.
The iconic 1971 film version starred Donald Pleasance, Chips Rafferty, Jack Thompson, John Meillon and Gary Bond. Ten hasn’t announced the cast for this one, but it won’t match the original.
How many iconic Australian movies can our lazy TV networks and pay TV sector steal, pinch or “reimagine”, to save them money on an original thought or two? Ten, by the way, has already used and abused Priscilla, Queen of The Desert, while Foxtel has remade The Devil’s Playground. Gallipoli was sort of remade by Nine in 2015 very unsuccessfully. — Glenn Dyer