EXCLUSIVE: Teresa Palmer (The Clearing, The Fall Guy), Miranda Richardson (Good Omens, Spider) and Danielle Macdonald (The Tourist, Patti Cake$) and a host of other names have joined Nicole Kidman‘s light-hearted Australian drama series The Last Anniversary.
The Foxtel drama for Aussie streamer Binge has gone into production in Sydney with Helen Thomson (Elvis, Colin From Accounts), Susan Prior (Animal Kingdom, Puberty Blues), Claude Scott-Mitchell (The Dry, Hotel Portofino), Charlie Garber (Barons, The Outlaw Michael Howe), Uli Latukefu (Young Rock, Next Goal Wins) and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Force of Nature: The Dry 2, Puberty Blues) also attached to appear.
Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel, The Last Anniversary is billed as “a wickedly funny, heartfelt dramedy wrapped in a gripping mystery about family, motherhood and the women who define the generations that come after them.”
Set on the mysterious Scribbly Gum Island, where a young couple disappeared decades before, it follows Sophie Honeywell (Palmer). She moves there after inheriting a house left to her by her ex-boyfriend’s great-aunt Connie, who promises that Sophie could finally meet the man of her dreams. She receives unwelcome reception on arrival but finds what she may actually need is an island full of women.
Samantha Strauss serves as head writer, with John Polson directing the six episodes. Kidman and Per Saari‘s Blossom Films, Bruna Papandrea‘s Made Up Stories and Fifth Season, which has international sales rights, are co-producing. The New South Wales government is supporting through the Made in NSW Fund.
Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky are executive producing with Casey Haver co-executive producing for Made Up Stories. Saari and Kidman are executive producing for Blossom Films. Strauss, Polson and Moriarty are also EPs, as are Binge’s Alison Hurbert-Burns and Lana Greenhalgh. Sarah L. Walker serves as script producer.
Kidman and Saari first told Deadline about the series back in 2019, during a Disruptors magazine interview. It was then formally announced during Foxtel/Binge’s new season slate reveal a month ago, at the same time as we revealed Binge’s first original film production, the Hugo Weaving-starrer How to Make Gravy.
In a joint statement, Made Up Stories and Blossom Films told Deadline: “We couldn’t be more excited to roll cameras on The Last Anniversary, which is the next chapter in the long-standing creative relationship between Made Up Stories, Blossom Films and Liane Moriarty.
“Samantha Strauss has brought Liane’s novel to life in such a heartwarming and cinematic way, with our long-time friend John Polson at the helm. We’re so pleased to be filming the series here in NSW, Australia with our brilliant cast and crew and backed by our incredible partners.”
Hurbert-Burns, Executive Director at Binge and Commissioning & Content for Foxtel Group, said: “We are delighted that production is underway on Binge’s newest Australian Original series, The Last Anniversary, a collaboration with Made Up Stories and Blossom Films. This wonderfully crafted story takes us to the water, to the bush and brings new corners of Australia to the screen. We’re looking forward to our audience escaping with us to Scribbly Gum Island and getting lost in the family mystery that ensues.”
In a recent interview with Deadline, Hurbert-Burns said Colin From Accounts streamer Binge would not finance any program or film “unless it’s exceptional,” adding: “We have nearly 30 years of proving that ambition.”
Prentiss Fraser, President of Television Distribution at Fifth Season, said The Last Anniversary‘s producers had “delivered a cosy and hilarious mystery that is prime for a premium television adaptation, and we’re thrilled to have the Foxtel Group embrace and put their support behind this project.
“The series is already shaping up to be the perfect combination of incredible talent, heartwarming humour and a captivating family-centred mystery, and we see significant potential for this series to follow in the footsteps of our huge international hits Nine Perfect Strangers and The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart to engage audiences all around the world.”
Australia’s Minister for the Arts, John Graham called the The Last Anniversary “an excellent example of supporting our home-grown talent,” adding: “I am pleased to see Australian stories on our screens that have been made right here in NSW, supporting more than 260 jobs and injecting over A$26M [$17M] into the local economy.”