Australian streaming platform Stan has expanded its slate of original productions with a renewed deal with Roadshow Rough Diamond and the green-lighting of standalone movie “Christmas on the Farm” and series “Bad Behaviour.”
The Nine-owned platform recently rejected the Australian federal government’s proposals for local content quotas. But the company is nevertheless under pressure to deliver a slate of original content.
That competitive pressure results from the likely loss of a slew of U.S. programming to Paramount Plus, which launched in Australia earlier this month, and an existing challenge from Disney Plus to be Australia’s number two streamer, behind Netflix.
Stan says its current strategy is to deliver around 30% of its first-run slate from original productions.
“Partnering with the biggest producers from Australia and around the world to deliver high caliber homegrown projects is core to Stan’s original content strategy,” said Stan’s acting-CEO Martin Kugeler in a prepared statement.
Based on a book by Australian writer Rebecca Starford, “Bad Behaviour” is an intense glimpse into the lives of teenage girls at the wilderness campus of an exclusive girls’ boarding school. Exploring latent and emerging sexuality, ritualistic activities, intense friendships, shifting loyalties and a ruthless struggle for power, the series is written by Pip Karmel (“New Gold Mountain,” “Total Control”) and Magda Wozniak (“Mustangs,” “The Heights”).
With production to begin later this year, it is directed by Corrie Chen (“Five Bedrooms,” “Wentworth”) and produced by Amanda Higgs (“The Secret Life of Us,” “Seven Types of Ambiguity”). The four-part series will be produced in partnership with Matchbox Pictures, which is part of NBCUniversal International Studios, with major production funding by Screen Australia.
Starring Australian-American actress Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace), Hugh Sheridan (Packed to the Rafters), Darren McMullen (House Husbands) and Nicholas Brown (Wakefield), “Christmas on the Farm” depicts a would-be novelist’s elaborate deception when her publisher comes to visit for an authentic taste of the life falsely presented as an autobiography.
The screenplay is written by Jennifer Notas Shapiro (“Christmas Lost and Found,” “Wrapped Up in Christmas”), with additional writing by Samantha Strauss (“Nine Perfect Strangers”). Christopher Weekes is attached to direct, with filming starting this month. Teaming up with Poppy Montgomery to executive produce are Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield, Tracey Vieira from Hoodlum Entertainment, and U.S.-based Ruthanne Secunda. International distribution is handled by Entertainment One and presales by TF1 France.
Stan previously worked with the Dan and John Edwards-headed Roadshow Rough Diamond on the “Romper Stomper” series and teen-sex comedy “Bump.”
Under an expanded arrangement, the two companies will work on to additional seasons of “Bump” as well as “Year Of,” a multi-generational drama spin-off from “Bump,” and “Ironside,” a crime drama inspired by the true story of the Australian police’s use of an encrypted app to track and trap criminals.
Season two of “Bump” is now shooting in Sydney, while season three will film in 2022, with Claudia Karvan returning as star and co-producer alongside Dan and John Edwards. Stars Nathalie Morris, Carlos Sanson Jnr. and Angus Sampson are also set to return.
The Edwards pair are working with acclaimed writer and director Gregor Jordan and investigative journalist Nick McKenzie on “Ironside.”
The new titles join a slate of other previously-announced original films and series. These include: “Wolf Like Me,” starring Josh Gad and Isla Fisher and produced by Made Up Stories in partnership with NBC’s Peacock; “The Tourist,” starring Jamie Dornan and produced in partnership with the BBC and HBO Max; “Gold,” starring Zac Efron in his first major Australian film; “The Portable Door,” starring Christoph Waltz and Sam Neill and produced in partnership with Sky; “Transfusion,” starring Sam Worthington; and Justin Kurzel’s “Nitram,” which won best actor honors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Caleb Landry Jones.