Rebel Wilson, David Wenham to star in ABC drama ‘Les Norton’

04 Mar 2019

The ABC has commissioned 10-part Roadshow Rough Diamond drama Les Norton, based on the best-selling novels by Robert G. Barrett.

Set in 1985, the series will follow the exploits of Les Norton, a country bloke from outback Queensland.  On the run from a troubled past, he blows into Sydney where he lands a job as a bouncer at a notorious illegal casino in Kings Cross. A classic fish out of water who’s desperate to get home, he soon finds himself seduced by the city’s illicit charms and dragged into a web of underground criminality.

Rebel Wilson (Isn’t It RomanticPitch PerfectBridesmaids) and David Wenham (Romper StomperWake in FrightTop of the Lake) will headline the cast together with up-and-coming actor Alexander Bertrand (Australian GangsterHyde & Seek), who will play Norton.

Daniel and John Edwards will produce the series created by by Morgan O’Neill, who will work alongside writers Christopher Lee (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Samantha Winston (Wentworth), Shanti Gudgeon (Wolf Creek), Malcolm Knox (Romper Stomper), and Jessica Tuckwell.

Directors will include Jocelyn Moorhouse (The DressmakerProof), Fadia Abboud (Australian Gangster), David Caesar (Dead Lucky, Underbelly) and O’Neill (Drift, Solo).

ABC head of drama, comedy & Indigenous Sally Riley will EP with Andrew Gregory; Deeper Water Films’ John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz; and John Singleton and Jack Singleton. Major production investment has come from Screen Australia and the ABC, in association with Create NSW.

“Les and his reprobate mates are caught up in a Sydney that was at its most debauched in the ‘80s, and the show’s blackly hilarious as a consequence,” John Edwards said.

ABC’s Riley added: “We are over the moon that Les Norton has lured such a stellar cast and creative team to bring the novels to life. Les Norton is shaping up to be an enviable addition to the ABC’s 2019 drama slate”.

Sonar Entertainment will handle international distribution.

Roadshow Rough Diamond acquires the worldwide rights to Tony Jones’ political thriller novel the twentieth man and untitled sequel with Christopher Lee to write

16 Apr 2018

Sydney, April 16, 2018 – Roadshow Rough Diamond the newly formed production entity with John Edwards (Love My Way, Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, Howzat!, and Offspring) and Dan Edwards (Romper Stomper) announced today they have acquired the worldwide rights to Tony Jones’ political thriller novel, The Twentieth Man and its sequel (soon to be published through Allen & Unwin).

The new eight-part TV series will be written by award-winning screenwriter, Christopher Lee (Paper Giants: Birth Of Cleo, Howzat!, The Secret Life of Us) and John and Dan Edwards of Roadshow Rough Diamond to produce.

The Twentieth Man written by Tony Jones, one of Australia’s most admired journalists, is a work of fiction based on real events and focuses on both the personal and the ideological and ethnic clashes that spring from World War Two, Vietnam and the Balkan conflicts reverberating into a star-crossed love story that spans for 40 years.

His novel is described as an unsettling contemporary thriller about terror cells in Australia, which takes you from the savage mountains of Yugoslavia to Canberra’s brutal yet covert power struggles.

“It is a surprise to find an international story of war crimes and universal passions half a world away having Australians so centrally involved – Tony’s books are a gripping yarn that makes for great epic television” said John Edwards.

“John and Dan have decided to create for television an Australian story whose main characters are enmeshed in a Day of the Jackal-style assassination plot in Canberra, a manhunt in Bosnia and a love affair that takes us from Sydney to the stunning Croatian coast to a war crimes prison in The Hague. It’s a global whodunit that requires a global vision. Rough Diamond get five stars from me!” said Tony Jones.

Stan original series Romper Stomper breaks viewing records

30 Jan 2018

The critically acclaimed new six-part drama is now streaming exclusively on Stan

The launch of the powerful and timely Stan Original Series, Romper Stomper, has become the most successful in Stan’s history, recording more viewing in its first 24hrs than any previous premiere. The critically acclaimed drama was also binged heavily with a record number of customers watching all six episodes on New Year’s Day.

What the critics are saying about Romper Stomper:

“One of the most invigorating pieces of television you’ll see all year… utterly compelling.” Sydney Morning Herald / The Age

“Romper Stomper feels achingly real and relevant.” The Guardian

“Five Stars” Herald Sun

“Romper Stomper reboot is a compelling investigation into Australia’s extremist politics” ABC

“…this is Australian television at its most essential.” The Brag

“Romper Stomper is a well-crafted, ambitious and slick production. Its plays its tension well and the performances – especially Lachy Hulme’s monstrous white nationalist leader – are chillingly good… Stan should be commended for daring to put out something controversial.” News.com.au

“This is a timely production that tackles difficult issues head on. 4 stars” Screenhub

“Don’t miss it.” Weekend Australian

The six part high stakes crime drama, which picks up on the themes and story of Geoffrey Wright’s groundbreaking and controversial 1992 film, follows a new generation of the activist Right, their Anti-Fascist counterparts and three young Lebanese Muslims caught between the conflict.

The six-part thriller brings the battle of opposing views into the modern-day context where hard right agitators have traded swastikas for the southern cross. Told from multiple points of view, Romper Stomper eerily echoes recent events and groups currently active in Melbourne and Australia. Set in the present day, it deals with political and social issues and highlights the shift of extremism from the fringe to the suburbs.

The outstanding ensemble cast includes Lachy Hulme (Power Games: The Packer-MurdochStory, Beaconsfield), David Wenham (Lion, Top of the Lake, Killing Time), Jacqueline McKenzie (The Water Diviner, Love Child, Romper Stomper), Dan Wyllie (Love My Way, Puberty Blues) Toby Wallace (Boys In The Trees), Lily Sullivan (Jungle, Galore, forthcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock), Sophie Lowe (The Beautiful Lie, The Slap), Nicole Chamoun (Kick, forthcoming Safe Harbour) and Julian Maroun (Janet King, Cleverman).

Behind the scenes Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper, Metal Skin, Macbeth), Daina Reid (The Secret River, Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War), and New Zealander James Napier Robertson (The Dark Horse) each share directing duties.

The 6 x 1 hour drama is written by Wright, Robertson, award-winning author/poet and rapper Omar Musa (Here Come the Dogs), and Walkley Award-winning journalist and author Malcolm Knox (Jamaica, The Life, The Wonder Lover).

Romper Stomper is produced by multi award-wining veteran producer John Edwards (Love My Way, Puberty Blues, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo) and Dan Edwards for Roadshow Rough Diamond with major production investment from Stan and Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, and international distribution by DCD Rights.

Romper Stomper is currently streaming exclusively on Stan

Romper Stomper heads to BBC Three

18 Jan 2018

BBC Three has acquired Australian drama Romper Stomper, it was announced today. The six-part contemporary thriller was acquired from DCD Rights and will air on the channel in 2018.

Romper Stomper is a high stakes drama that follows a new generation of far right activists, the antifascist counterparts who intend to bring them down, and its impact on today’s multicultural society.

Set 25 years on from Geoffrey Wright’s acclaimed 1992 film of the same name, Romper Stomper sees Wright return to tell a fast-paced new story starring David Wenham (Lion, Lord of the Rings), Lachy Hulme (Howzat!), Sophie Lowe (The Beautiful Lie) , Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Nicole Chamoun (Ronny Chieng: International Student), Julian Maroun (Cleverman), and Toby Wallace (Boys in the Trees), with Dan Wyllie (Love My Way) & Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400) reprising their roles from the original film. The series is written and directed by Wright, alongside director Daina Reid (The Secret River), writer/director James Napier Robertson (The Dark Horse), and writers Omar Musa and Malcolm Knox.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three says: “It’s a real thrill to make BBC Three Romper Stomper’s UK home. This is bold, compelling storytelling featuring some of Australia’s most renowned talent alongside an array of exceptional up and coming actors.”

Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition adds: “Romper Stomper is vibrant, thought provoking television that will grip audiences and ask intelligent, relevant questions about the world today. We’re very excited for BBC Three viewers to see it.”

Nicky Davies Williams, CEO at DCD Rights, commented, “I’m delighted to confirm this key deal for Romper Stomper in the UK, fresh from its record-breaking launch on Australian streaming service Stan. Set amid the fast-moving world of political tribes and extremes, Romper Stomper combines an atmospheric, character-driven contemporary drama with an incredibly original political thriller that approaches this complex globally relevant issue from all perspectives.”

A city’s peace stands on the brink. A new generation of white supremacists, Patriot Blue, exploit middle-class fears, their rise countered by the technologically advanced and globally connected forces of the anti-fascist movement. Between them, immigrant communities are torn between anger and confusion about their place in this world, between retaliating and keeping their heads down. Into this tinderbox falls a struck match: Kane (Wallace), a 22-year-old who arrives in the city with a secret plan
and a hidden history.

A Stan Original Series, Romper Stomper is a Roadshow Rough Diamond production with production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, and international distribution by DCD Rights.

The 6×60′ series is produced by John Edwards (Love My Way, The Secret Life of Us, Howzat!, Tangle, Police Rescue) and Dan Edwards and will air on BBC Three later this year.

Stan original series Romper Stomper to premiere on New Year’s Day

17 Nov 2017

Stan has today announced that its powerful new Stan Original Series ROMPER STOMPER will premiere exclusively on Stan on January 1, 2018, with all 6 episodes releasing at once.

A high stakes crime drama, ROMPER STOMPER picks up on the themes and story of Geoffrey Wright’s groundbreaking and controversial 1992 film. Twenty five years on, the six-part drama follows a new generation of the activist Right, their Anti-Fascist counterparts and three young Lebanese Muslims caught between the conflict.

To accompany the announcement, Stan has unveiled the launch trailer, key art and full selection of images, almost 25 years to the day that the original film hit Australian cinemas (12 November, 1992).

The six-part thriller brings the battle of opposing views into the modern-day context where hard right agitators have traded swastikas for the southern cross. Told from multiple points of view, ROMPER STOMPER eerily echoes recent events and groups currently active in Melbourne and Australia. Set in the present day, it deals with political and social issues and highlights the shift of extremism from the fringe to the suburbs.

The outstanding ensemble cast includes Lachy Hulme (Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story, Beaconsfield), David Wenham (Lion, Top of the Lake, Killing Time), Jacqueline McKenzie (The Water Diviner, Love Child, Romper Stomper), Dan Wyllie (Love My Way, Puberty Blues) Toby Wallace (Boys In The Trees), Lily Sullivan (Jungle, Galore, forthcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock), Sophie Lowe (The Beautiful Lie, The Slap), Nicole Chamoun (Kick, forthcoming Safe Harbour) and Julian Maroun (Janet King, Cleverman).

Behind the scenes Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper, Metal Skin, Macbeth), Daina Reid (The Secret River, Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War), and New Zealander James Napier Robertson (The Dark Horse) each share directing duties.

The 6 x 1 hour drama is written by Wright, Robertson, award-winning author/poet and rapper Omar Musa (Here Come the Dogs), and Walkley Award-winning journalist and author Malcolm Knox (Jamaica, The Life, The Wonder Lover). .

ROMPER STOMPER is produced by multi award-wining veteran producer John Edwards (Love My Way, Puberty Blues, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo) and Dan Edwards for Roadshow Rough Diamond with major production investment from Stan and Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria, and international distribution by DCD Rights.

Nick Forward, Stan’s Chief Content Officer said “25 years ago, ROMPER STOMPER changed Australian cinema forever, and Geoffrey, John and the rest of the team have done an incredible job continuing that story in a fresh and contemporary way. Romper Stomper shines a light on the alienated and fractured members of modern society, and the day to day realities of racism and bigotry in Australia.”

“Without doubt ROMPER STOMPER will make for confronting viewing, at a time when ignoring the dark side of nationalism is no longer an option,” said Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia. “Stan and the team from Roadshow Rough Diamond have gone to extraordinary lengths to craft a premium drama that is gripping in its authenticity.”

“Dan drove the idea of teaming Geoffrey with our most accomplished and successful drama director Daina Reid, and the very exciting young New Zealand director James Napier Robertson, as well as screenwriting newcomers Malcolm Knox and Omar Musa, and first-time drama series composer Richard Pike – the result is a kind of alchemy,” said producer John Edwards.

Seven announces new crime drama Australian Gangster

27 Oct 2017

New local crime drama Australian Gangster was announced today at Channel Seven’s Allfronts 2018 event, after securing major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW.

Produced by Roadshow Rough Diamond’s Dan Edwards (Romper Stomper) and multi award-winning veteran producer John Edwards (Love My Way, Puberty Blues, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo), Australian Gangster is a wild tale of gangster ambition where the Instagram generation and Westie underworld collide with Sydney’s glamorous social elite. Against a background of murder and mayhem is a world of spray tans, steroids, tatts, laundered drug money and Lamborghinis, clashing with the pursuit of a happy family life.

Australian Gangster has been penned by Cannes Jury Prize-winning writer Gregor Jordan (Buffalo Soldiers, Ned Kelly, Swinger), best known as the writer/director of cult Australian film Two Hands. Joining Jordan is Walkley Award-winning journalist and author Malcolm Knox (Romper Stomper, The Life, The Wonder Lover, A Private Man).

Prolific television director Daina Reid (Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, The Secret River, Offspring) is attached to direct the series.

John Edwards noted that, “Just as Two Hands was an oblique take on a familiar form a generation ago, Australian Gangster will be a genre-bending crime drama series – confronting, affronting, touching and often laugh-out-loud crazy.”

Seven’s Head of Drama, Julie McGauran, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing our Channel Seven audience more premium Australian drama. Australian Gangster is a fresh and bold new take on the crime genre and it is great to be working with such talented creatives as Gregor Jordan and John and Dan Edwards.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan added, “Australia’s love affair with the crime drama genre is set to continue with Australian Gangster. We are delighted to be partnering once again with Roadshow Rough Diamond and are confident they will deliver a ratings winner for Seven.”

Create NSW Director for Sector Investment Sophia Zachariou commented, “From iconic harbourside locations to the streets of Western Sydney’s Bankstown and Blacktown, backed by a fantastic production team, Australian Gangster will be a quality home-grown TV drama that has been made possible through our Made In NSW funding. The production will be a great showcase for the city and I look forward to seeing the action coming together.”

Henrik Pabst, Managing Director of Red Arrow International said: “Red Arrow International is excited to be distributing Australian Gangster and working with such strong partners as Roadshow Rough Diamond, Channel Seven and Screen Australia. The series promises to be tough, brave and exhilarating television, and we are looking forward to sharing it with international broadcasters and platforms.”

Australian Gangster will premiere on Channel Seven in 2018. Casting is underway, and the series is slated to commence filming early in the new year in Sydney and surrounds.

Production Credits: A Roadshow Rough Diamond production for Channel Seven with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW. Red Arrow International are handling ROW sales and Roadshow Films will distribute in AU/NZ.

Offspring producer John Edwards’ new company with Roadshow has big ‘eclectic’ plans

17 Jun 2016

John Edwards has several projects under way with his new production company joint venture with Roadshow Films.

But until the projects are ready to go, he says it’s bad luck to discuss them.

Since his breakthrough series, Police Rescue in 1991, he’s been responsible for The Secret Life of Us, Love My Way, Puberty Blues, Rush and Offspring plus miniseries including On the Beach, Beaconsfield, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War and Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.

The new venture, announced June 16, will see Edwards work alongside son and former Endemol executive Dan and comes following various high-profile exits last year from the newly combined Endemol-Shine media company.

What Edwards senior will give away, however, is that Roadshow Rough Diamond’s output will be “deliberately eclectic”.

On the cards already, he says, are a family feature film, a long-form drama series, a shorter six-hour series, a telemovie and a feature documentary – with firm announcements on projects to start filtering out by Christmas.

Coming under the fold of Roadshow Films, alongside co-chief-executives Chris Chard and Joel Pearlman, was an “organic fit”, Edwards says.

“Frankly ours is always a business of relationships,” he says. “It’s the relationships and being able to take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of us. It’s all about finding people you speak the same language with and you have the same ambitions as. That’s the critical point.”

At the Screen Producers Australia conference last November, Edwards spoke strongly about the state of the industry and how drama production had run itself into a “a stagnant billabong”.

“I don’t step back from anything I’ve said,” he says. “Because it still is the case that there just isn’t the number of new people coming through, there aren’t the new voices and the truth is that television production has become more expensive for smaller audiences and more reliant on subsidies. These things remain true.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom for the TV production industry. “I wasn’t being negative at all and I wasn’t being backward looking,” he says of his speech. “I was trying to look forward and try and warn against dangers that are obvious and inherent.”

He advocates that any period of transition is a time for opportunity, and that networks should be required to create a certain volume than meet spending costs, otherwise it results in “non-productive inflation”.

Roadshow Rough Diamond, he hopes, will have a positive impact on local production. “We’re just going to get out there and make a lot of good stuff and that just actually opens new doors for others.”

It’s Roadshow Film’s first foray into TV-land since the 1990s when it produced shows such as Brides of Christ and A Long Way From Home. Since then it has produced some of Australia’s biggest films in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Red Dog (2011), Happy Feet (2006) and The Castle (1997).

In bringing more Australian stories to the screen, Edwards says at the centre of what they hope to achieve is pretty simple.

“Whatever we’re going to be doing is trying to do things that are good and open and truthful, and hopefully with plenty of fun in them.

“I think that applies to even the serious work that we do. We’ll always have plenty of fun, I hope, and plenty of joy and plenty of heart.

“It’s a pretty good life we’ve got, sitting around making up stories and figuring out how to tell them as well as you can. You’ve just got to hope that some of that enthusiasm and love of doing it translates.”