Amazon greenlights ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’

Ciarán Hinds, Jacob Elordi and Odessa Young will lead the cast of 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North'.

Ciarán Hinds, Odessa Young, Olivia DeJonge, Heather Mitchell, Thomas Weatherall, Show Kasamatsu, Simon Baker and Charles An will join Jacob Elordi in Curio Pictures’ The Narrow Road to the Deep North, now in production for Prime Video.

The five-part series, shooting in NSW, is based on Richard Flanagan’s 2014 Man Booker prize-winning novel by the same name. It has been adapted for screen by writer Shaun Grant, with Justin Kurzel directing.

Frequent collaborators, Grant and Kurzel have been attached to the project since 2019, a year after Fremantle Australia originally acquired the rights. Former Fremantle director of scripted Jo Porter then brought the project with her to Sony Pictures Television’s Curio Pictures (formerly Playmaker) when she left the company in late 2020.

Elordi was cast as the lead in the project late last year; the young Dorrigo Evans, an Australian surgeon and reluctant leader of a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp on the Thai-Burma railway. He is haunted by his love affair with his uncle Keith’s (Baker) young wife Amy (Mulvaney) two years earlier, and their romance sustains and haunts him through his darkest days.

Hinds will play the older Dorrigo in the 1980s, while DeJonge is the younger Ella and Heather Mitchell her older counterpart. Weatherall is Frank Gardiner, Kasamatsu is Major Nakamura and An is The Goanna.

Grant and Kurzel are both executive producers of the series alongside Curio Pictures’ Porter and Rachel Gardner, with Alexandra Taussig producing. Principal production funding has been provided by Screen Australia, with assistance via Screen NSW’s Made in NSW and PDV Funds. 

Director of photography is Sam Chiplin, Alice Babidge is production and costume designer, Alexandra De Franceschi is editor, Jed Kurzel is composer, Nikki Barrett casting director and hair and makeup is by Angela Conte.

In a joint statement, Porter and Gardner said they were incredibly proud to be producing the series.

“The power of the storytelling, which began with Richard Flanagan’s seminal novel; the brilliance of the creative team, led by Shaun Grant and Justin Kurzel; and our breathtakingly accomplished cast will make this a landmark production for Australian television and a sweeping story to be embraced by audiences around the world,” they said.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North marks Prime Video’s 27th commission out of Australia, with the project also to screen on the service in New Zealand and Canada. Sony Pictures Television will distribute internationally.

“With talents like Jacob Elordi, Ciarán Hinds and Odessa Young at the helm, The Narrow Road to the Deep North promises to be a cinematic, visceral, and undeniable contemporary love story, which explores the power of mateship and the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity,” said Sarah Christie, senior development executive at Amazon MGM Studios.