Filming is now underway in Australia on “Desert King,” a neo-western drama series for Netflix that is positioned to be one of the streamer’s iconic prestige productions in the Asia-Pacific region.
The story revolves around money and power in Australia’s harsh Outback regions with filming locations in the remote Northern Territory and near Adelaide, South Australia.
When the world’s largest cattle station is left without a clear successor, generational clashes threaten to tear the Lawson family apart. Sensing this once great dynasty is in decline, the outback’s most powerful factions – rival cattle barons, desert gangsters, Indigenous elders and billionaire miners – move in for the kill,” says Netflix by way of a synopsis.
While describing the six-part series as “one of the largest local screen productions filmed in both the [Northern] Territory and South Australia,” and “an extraordinary cast,” the streamer has not disclosed the identities of any cast.
Directed by Greg McLean (“La Brea,” “Wolf Creek”), the show is a joint production between Easy Tiger and Ronde. It is created by Tim Lee (“Mystery Road,” “Bump”) and Ben Davies; executive produced by Ben Davies (“Bondi Rescue,” “The First Inventors,” “Outback Ringer”), Rob Gibson and Ian Collie (“The Twelve,” “Jack Irish,” “Colin from Accounts”); produced by Paul Ranford (“Stateless,” “True History of the Kelly Gang”).
The series is backed by the Northern Territory Government’s Production Attraction Incentive Program (PAIP) and by funding from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) through the SAFC Screen Production Fund. The PAIP provides an opportunity to attract large-scale Australian and international footloose productions to the Territory to build capacity of the local screen industry whilst contributing to the NT economy through employment and goods and services.
Post-production is also taking place in South Australia, supported by the SAFC’s SA Post-Production, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) Rebate.
Filming will take place on the traditional land of the Larrakia people (Darwin, Northern Territory) and the Kaurna people (Adelaide, South Australia). Prior to production, Netflix and Screen Territory partnered on the First Nations Production Ready Bootcamp to support 10 First Nations participants by providing a comprehensive overview of the ins and outs of screen production, while also preparing them for trainee and attachment positions.
“’Desert King’ is the ultimate tale of big land, big money and all the high-stakes drama that come with it. We’re excited to be shooting our next premium Australian series in the Northern Territory for the first time, where this epic family drama is set, and at the world-class production facilities in South Australia,” said Netflix director of content ANZ, Que Minh Luu. “We’re working with some of Australia’s leading creators and crew to bring to life a version of this country we’re proud to show to our members both here at home and around the world.”
“We’re thrilled to have assembled an incredibly creative team, on and off-screen, to do justice to the rarely-seen world, characters and stories of the Top End, a place where timeless meets modern, and where landscape is life and livelihood, but also mortal danger,” said executive producers Davies and Gibson.
Netflix’s local slate of Australian content includes previously released “Heartbreak High,” “Wellmania,” “True Spirit” and “Run Rabbit Run,” as well as upcoming releases and more recently announced projects such as “Boy Swallows Universe,” “Surviving Summer Season 2,” “Love Is in the Air” and “Onefour: Against All Odds.”