The Netflix series adaptation of the Australian novel child swallows universe has presented its cast and the first images of the shooting have been published.
Travis Fimmel (vikings, warcraft, raised by wolves), Simon Baker (The mentalist, Breath) and Phoebe Tonkin (Babylon, snow boy, Western world) lead an ensemble cast for the eight-part limited series, which is based on Trent Dalton’s book and is now in production in Brisbane, Australia.
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News of the project was first revealed by Deadline in May 2019, and was broached by Netflix earlier this year.
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The book, set in the violent working-class suburban fringe of Brisbane in 1983, follows Eli Bell, an eloquent 12-year-old boy, and his mute brother Gus. A synopsis of the novel reads: “Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is missing, his mother is in jail and his stepfather is a heroin dealer. The steadiest adult in Eli’s life is Slim, a notorious criminal and holder of the national record for successful prison breaks, who watches over Eli and August, Eli’s silent genius as older brother… A story of brotherhood, true love, family and the most unlikely of friendships, child swallows universe It is the story of a teenager on the cusp of discovering the man he will be.”
Felix Cameron (penguin flower) will play young Eli, and Lee Tiger Halley (Heights, Featherweight) will appear as Gus Bell. Fimmel will play his violent stepfather Lyle Orlik, Baker will be absent, father Robert Bell, and Tonkin will play mother Frances Bell. bryan brown (Cocktail, breaker morant), Antonio LaPaglia (Nitram, Without a trace) and Sophie Wilde (you don’t know me, the shit bucket will play other central characters in the children’s lives, with Christopher James Baker (true detective, Ozarks), Hai Ha Le (hungry ghost, back to the rafters), Deborah Mailman (Total control, mysterious path), Ben O’Toole (mountain crest, Detroit), Zachary Wan (never too late, the unlisted), Millie Donaldson and Eloise Rothfield also landed roles.
John Cole (Master and Commander, Happy Feet, Mumbai Hotel) is adapting the novel for the small screen, with Australia’s Brouhaha Entertainment teaming up with Anonymous Content and Chapter One, which counts Anonymous among its investors, to produce.
Executive producers are Brouhaha’s Joel Edgerton, Troy Lum and Andrew Mason, Sophie Gardiner for Chapter One, Anonymous Content’s Kerry Kohansky-Roberts and Toby Bentley. The directors are Bharat Nalluri (ghosts, Hustle), Jocelyn Moorehouse (Proof, how to make an american quilt) and Kim Mordaunt (The rocket, fires). The director of photography is Shelly Farthing-Dawe, the production designer is Michelle McGahey, the costume designer is Kerry Thompson, the hair and makeup designer is Angela Conte, and the casting director is Nikki Barrett.
The Queensland Government has supported production through Screen Queensland’s production attraction strategy.
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