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Based on the bestselling crime novel by Chris Hammer, the Stan Original series Scrublands is currently in production.

L to R: L to R: Director Greg McLean with actors Luke Arnold, Bella Heathcote and Jay Ryan.
L to R: L to R: Director Greg McLean with actors Luke Arnold, Bella Heathcote and Jay Ryan.

27 February 2023 – Stan, Australia’s unrivalled home of original productions, and the 9Network today announced production has commenced on the Stan Original Series Scrublands, the compelling crime series starring Luke Arnold (Black Sails, Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS) and Bella Heathcote (The Stan Original Series C*A*U*G*H*T, The Stan Original Film Relic) with Jay Ryan (It Chapter Two, Top of the Lake). Based on the award-winning novel written by Chris Hammer, Scrublands is an Easy Tiger production co-commissioned by Stan and the 9Network, in association with VicScreen.

Scrublands is set in an isolated country town, where a charismatic and dedicated young priest (Jay Ryan) calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners. One year later investigative journalist Martin Scarsden (Luke Arnold) arrives in Riversend to write what should be a simple feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy. But when Martin’s instincts kick in and he digs beneath the surface, the previously accepted narrative begins to fall apart and he finds himself in a life and death race to uncover the truth.

The cast also includes Zane Ciarma (Neighbours)Adam Zwar (Squinters), Victoria Thaine (Nowhere Boys)Robert Taylor (The Newsreader), Stacy Clausen (True Spirit)Genevieve Morris (The Stan Original Series No Activity) and newcomer Ella Ferris. International sales of the series are handled by Abacus Media Rights.

Stan Chief Content Officer Cailah Scobie said: “Following the immense success of Bali 2002, Stan is delighted to once again co-commission with the 9Network. Scrublands promises to be a powerful and compulsive crime thriller. A remarkable crime series set in Australia’s unforgiving and harsh landscape, Easy Tiger has secured an outstanding core cast in Luke Arnold, Bella Heathcote and Jay Ryan and we look forward to collaborating with them on Scrublands.

Nine Director of Television Michael Healy said: “Joining forces with the teams at Stan and Easy Tiger on Scrublands has realised an ambition we have had since Chris Hammer's novel was published in 2018. ​ We are confident the creative team led by director Greg McLean and lead writer Felicity Packard will adapt Scrublands into a must-watch television drama for a global audience.”

Easy Tiger Founder Ian Collie and CEO Rob Gibson said: “From the moment we opened Chris Hammer’s ripping page-turner, we knew Scrublands was destined to be a must-watch crime series. We’re delighted that our partners at Stan and Nine agree wholeheartedly, and we’re thrilled to work with the incredible team there to bring this to the screen, with the crucial support of VicScreen and international partners Abacus. In the masterful hands of director Greg McLean, writer/producer Felicity Packard and writers Kelsey Munro and Jock Serong, and producer David Redman, Scrublands will be an unmissable TV event for rusted-on Chris Hammer fans and everyone else alike.” ​ 

Abacus Media Rights Managing Director Jonathan Ford said: “Once again Stan has co-commissioned an ambitious and engaging thriller which we are delighted to be taking to the international market after its Australian launch. Not only does Scrublands have all the ingredients that make for a winning drama – a great script, relatable characters and a strong cast – due to the fact that it’s based on a best-selling crime thriller novel the Scrublands franchise is already well known around the world and we can’t wait to offer this series to our clients.”

VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher said: “Victorian locations have been the backdrops to some of the world’s most captivating screen projects, and we are proud to support the highly anticipated adaptation of Chris Hammer’s bestselling novel to shoot in regional Victoria. Scrublands is an unravelling mystery that is set to keep audiences on their toes and wanting more. The Easy Tiger production is set to employ over 500 Victorians, adding to the state’s pipeline of premium local productions.”

Scrublands marks the second co-commission between 9Network and Stan following the Stan Original Series Bali 2002, an inspiring drama exploring how everyday heroes from Bali, Australia and beyond, defied the odds to bring order from chaos and hope from despair.

The Stan Original Series Scrublands is directed by Greg McLean, written by Felicity Packard, Kelsey Munro and Jock Serong, produced by Ian Collie, Rob Gibson, David RedmanFelicity Packard with Executive Producers Michael Healy and Andy Ryan from the 9Network and Cailah Scobie and Amanda Duthie for Stan.

The Stan Original Series Scrublands is now in production. 


For more information, please contact Stan Publicity at: stan.publicity@stan.com.au

For all Stan Publicity assets, go to: www.media.stan.com.au





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