Hot off the Bravo series Dirty John, Eric Bana will star in an adaptation of Jane Harper’s bestselling novel The Dry. Robert Connolly (Balibo) will direct the Australian production from a script he wrote with Harry Cripps (Paws). Made Up Stories has set up the picture, and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies, Gone Girl), Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky are producing. Bana and Connolly will be exec producers with Ricci Swart and Andrew Myer.
Bana plans Aaron Falk, who returns to his hometown after 20 years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend. The friend allegedly killed his wife and child before taking his own life, victims of the madness that has ravaged this community after more than a decade of drought. After Aaron reluctantly agrees to investigate further, he suspects this crime might be connected to another. Struggling to prove not only Luke’s innocence but his own, Aaron finds himself pitted against the prejudice and pent-up rage of a terrified community.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of the team bringing this thrilling and evocative novel to life,” said Bana. “I love the journey of Falk, and can’t wait to bring him to life, along with my dear friend Rob Connolly.”
Connolly called Harper’s novel “a powerful contemporary story with big mythic themes driven by a thrilling crime story. I am delighted to be collaborating with Eric again, along with working with Bruna and the team at Made Up Stories on this adaptation for the screen of such an incredibly cinematic and emotionally charged work.”
Said Harper: “It is very important to me that the nature and depth of Falk shines through and I feel Eric Bana will fully capture that. Director Robert Connolly has done an excellent job in writing a script that captures the essence and tone of the novel and its characters. Producer Bruna Papandrea has an outstanding track record and I’m very excited that she will be spearheading this film.”
The Dry shoots late February in Victoria, Australia, with production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. The film will be distributed by Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand.
Bana is represented by WME. Harper is represented by Clare Forster at Curtis Brown and Jerry Kalajian at Intellectual Property Group.