Pop TV President Brad Schwartz described the TV adaptation of “Wolf Creek” as both “The Walking Dead” and “True Detective” (Season 1, of course), but that wasn’t what had everyone excited about the latest extension of Greg McLean’s cult film franchise.
Speaking during the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, McLean and stars John Jarratt and Lucy Fry touted how the show differed from male-driven thrillers in one major way: “In doing the series, there would be nothing more boring than watching a killer go out and kill woman after woman,” McLean said. “So instead, we flipped it around.”
“The joy for me in this one is that Lucy plays a character not all that different from Clint Eastwood’s character in ‘Unforgiven,'” Jarratt said. “We’ve got a female who’s out for revenge over what was done to her family.”
“When you first see the story, you think I’ll be another victim who gets killed by the infamous Mick Taylor,” Fry said. “But instead, we flip that on its head.”
Inspired by the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and Cannes entry of the same name — which was based on true events — “Wolf Creek” starts with the infamous Mick Taylor (Jarratt), a mass murderer wreaking havoc across the Australian outback. However, the show quickly shifts focus to a 19-year-old college student (Fry) who survives Taylor’s slaughter of her family. Now, she’s out for revenge, and Fry (“11.22.63”) steps up as the female lead.
The six-episode limited series has already debuted in Australia to what Pop deemed a “massive” success. While McLean cited how “Wolf Creek” was a “household name” down under, he also unabashedly noted how positive the response has been thus far.
“I think the fact we had a female character leading it and flipping the whole thing on its head really intrigued people in Australia,” McLean said. “[But] it’s just an entertaining as hell story.”
McLean also noted how the first two movies could be easily categorized as slasher films, but the series is more of a “suspense/thriller.”
“I think the TV series is even more cinematic than the movies,” he added. “We went to the actual locations. We didn’t want to pull any punches. We didn’t want to television-ize ‘Wolf Creek.’”
“This is high-end television,” Jarratt added. “It’s like six feature films.”
“Wolf Creek” premieres Friday, October 14 on Pop. Watch the trailer below and check out a few first look photos.