The political conventions are over, but references to Clash of the Candidates continue to creep in at TCA.
Pop president Brad Schwartz introduced a panel for the new Pop TV series Wolf Creek (based on the horror movie franchise) as the story of “a strong empathetic woman overcoming a psychopathic monster.
“Anyone get that?’ the executive added when the line failed to draw much reaction.
On a more serious note, Schwartz described the new series as a perfect fit with Pop’s intent to celebrate “fandom” by expanding the Pop brand to include the cult favorite. “It’s a way for us to get into drama” with a popular saga, Schwartz said.
In the six-episode series— with a previously announced Oct. 14 premiere — John Jarratt reprises his movie role as serial killer Mick Taylor. But unlike the movie, here Mick meets his match in Eve Thorogood (Lucy Fry), an American college student visiting the Australian outback with her family. When Mick preys on the family, Lucy survives and becomes his relentless pursuer.
Produced in Australia, the first-season episodes premiered earlier in the year in Australia. Series EP Greg McLean (also writer, director and producer of the movies) says the series is already a “massive hit” down under. He said that the movies had “played fairly well” there and audiences responded to having a female character leading a revenge drama: “It’s entertaining as hell.”
McLean was asked how the extreme violence of the films can translate to a TV project. McLean said that actually the intensity of the movies comes from the implied threat of violence, rather than graphic depictions. He added the TV series “is a thriller story, not a horror story.”
Before the panel, Schwartz had said the first-season episodes were all produced in Australia (from Lionsgate Television and Screentime) but added that if the show lasts for multiple seasons Pop would become more involved as a co-producer.
Schwartz was asked what cuts and edits might be made in the show for Pop TV. Said the executive: “The original series was produced for an SVOD service—there are no rules when you do that…I always start from a place that we will not do anything to it (then) the lawyers get involved.
“You try to stay as close to the creative vision as possible, protecting the creative vision and respecting the viewer experience.”