Network Ten is pleased to announce it has commissioned a new adaptation of Kenneth
Cook’s classic Australian novel, Wake In Fright.
Wake In Fright will be produced by Lingo Pictures in association with Endemol Shine
Australia, with the assistance of Screen Australia and Screen NSW. It will premiere on TEN and WIN Network in 2017.
The two-part television event will tell the story of John Grant, a young school teacher who
descends into his own personal nightmare after being stranded in the small outback mining
town of Bundanyabba.
Grant soon realises his city smarts are no use in this strange place that runs by its own rules.
When he loses all his money and more in an illegal two-up game, he becomes indebted to
some very dangerous people who refuse to let him go.
As events go from bad to worse, Grant is trapped in a spiralling nightmare of drinking, sex,
and the steady stripping away of his civility. He finds himself broke, on the run and
desperate for escape. But there is no escaping “The Yabba”, or the secret past Grant
thought he had put behind him.
Kenneth Cook’s Wake In Fright has never been out of print since it was first published in
1961 and has been translated into 10 languages.
The iconic 1971 film version starred Donald Pleasance, Chips Rafferty, Jack Thompson, John
Meillon and Gary Bond, and is regarded by some critics as the greatest Australian film ever
The cast for Network Ten’s Wake In Fright will be announced soon.
Network Ten Head of Drama, Rick Maier, said: “There are few Australian stories as original
or compelling as Wake in Fright.
“Kenneth Cook’s novel, now re-imagined for a new generation, deals with the biggest
themes. Provocative, morally complex and brilliantly realised, this classic story is guaranteed
to stay with you long into the night and – possibly – for years to come.
“It will be a privilege to broadcast this major television event on TEN,” he said.
Producer Helen Bowden said: “Based on a novel that is as fresh as the day it was written,
with compelling scripts, and a director at the top of his game, Lingo Pictures is extremely
proud to be making Wake In Fright for Network Ten.”
The team behind Wake In Fright includes producers Helen Bowden (The Slap, Devil’s
Playground), and Kristian Moliere (The Badabook), writer Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies),
director Kriv Stenders (Red Dog, A Place To Call Home) and executive producers Jason
Stephens (Lingo Pictures), Mark Fennessy and Carl Fennessy (Endemol Shine).
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “Screen Australia is thrilled to be a major investor
in Lingo Pictures’ Wake In Fright, which sees the Aussie thriller genre making a triumphant
return to Network Ten.”