Phoebe Tonkin is to star in and executive produce a new Australian TV crime drama series, “The Dark Lake,” based on a novel by Sarah Bailey.
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The series is to be produced by Brouhaha Entertainment, the Australia-U.K. outfit headed by veteran producers Gabrielle Tana, Troy Lum and Andrew Mason. The company recently delivered Netflix’s Brisbane set “Boy Swallows Universe,” in which Tonkin also stars.
Production and financing details were not disclosed and the series has not revealed a director or a broadcast or streaming partnership.
The story follows Gemma (portrayed by Tonkin) as she is forced to confront the secrets of her past when assigned to the murder of her high school nemesis in her small and tight-knit hometown. Through law enforcement, Gemma anchors herself to the dichotomy of right and wrong, in an effort to redeem her own deeply compromised decisions.
“The series investigates the moral workings of a grief engulfed woman torn between the dedication to her work, the love for her son and the temptation of her indulgences,” Brouhaha said.
The series is adapted from Australian writer Bailey’s debut novel of the same name, which is also the first book in The Gemma Woodstock series. It won both the 2018 Davitt Award for best crime debut and the 2018 Ned Kelly award for best first crime. Bailey has written two other books in the series, “Into the Night,” set in the dark alleyways of Melbourne, and “Where the Dead Go,” based in a small coastal community. Bailey is currently working on a fourth book in the series.
Bailey will be closely involved in the adaptation and work with screen-writer Becca Johnstone whose upcoming credits include the feature films “Addition” and “Ascent.”
Tonkin is best known for her performances in “The Vampire Diaries,” “Babylon,” “Safe Harbour” and the recent “Boy Swallows Universe,” in which she plays a mother and recovering drug addict. She also starred in 2015 shark movie “Bait 3D.”
“We have been waiting for years to find the actress that could play Gemma Woodstock. She is feisty, complex and brilliant and has a loyal fanbase of readers. Phoebe’s performance in Boy Swallows Universe blew us away and we knew we finally had an actress who could do Gemma justice,” said Lum.
“I had such a wonderful collaborative experience on ‘Boy Swallows Universe,’ and I’m excited to continue this creative relationship with ‘The Dark Lake’,” said Tonkin.
Brouhaha, which has financial backing from U.K. investor Calculus Creative Entertainment, is behind Karim Ainouz’s first English-language film “Firebrand” and the Guy Pearce-starring New Zealand-set action feature “The Convert,” which is currently in post-production.
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