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Picnic at Hanging Rock coming to TV


Seminal Australian novel ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ is being made into a new TV drama for Foxtel.

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The 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, which follows the disappearance of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day in 1900, has already had the big-screen treatment in Peter Weir’s 1975 film, which featured Jacki Weaver and Wolf Creek star John Jarratt.

This new TV adaptation is already in pre-production with Tracks and A Few Best Men producer Antonia Barnard, and writers Beatrix Christian (Jindabyne) and Alice Addison (Devil’s Playground) have signed on to work on it.

FremantleMedia is making six one-hour episodes, according to Foxtel chief executive Officer Peter Tonagh, who announced the new drama at the ASTRA conference in Sydney today.

“It is testament to the originality of author Joan Lindsay that her novel, charting the chilling mystery of the inexplicable disappearance of the three schoolgirls 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,” FremantleMedia Australia director of drama Jo Porter said.

“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.”

FremantleMedia has secured production investment from Screen Australia for the show, which will premiere on Foxtel’s showcase channel next year.



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