Hulu’s ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ gets underway in Byron Bay

Bobby Cannavale, Michael Shannon and Regina Hall are the latest additions to the cast of the Hulu-commissioned series Nine Perfect Strangers, which started shooting in Byron Bay today.

American Jonathan Levine (Long Shot, Snatched) is directing all eight episodes of the drama based on the Liane Moriarty novel, produced by Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson and Blossom Films’ Nicole Kidman and Per Saari.

As IF reported, the production will inject more than $100 million into the state’s economy.

In pre-production Kidman and her core creative team set up an isolated production hub under police-supervised quarantine at her Southern Highlands property.

The series is set at a boutique health-and-wellness resort where nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during the 10-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (Kidman).

Cast as the nine strangers are Cannavale, Shannon, Hall, Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Melvin Gregg, Samara Weaving, Asher Keddie and Grace Van Patten.

In the book, Shannon and Keddie’s characters are a married couple who lost a twin son. Tiffany Boone plays Delilah, an employee at the resort, with Manny Jacinto as Yao, Masha’s right hand man.

Samantha Strauss co-wrote the script with the showrunners, David E Kelley and John Henry Butterworth, who collaborated with Made Up Stories and Blossom Films on HBO’s adaptation of Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. Barbara Gibbs is the line producer. Endeavour Content is handling international sales.

The Australian Directors’ Guild asked the producers for an Australian director to be attached to the production but were turned down, reportedly due to COVID-19 restrictions.

That prompted ADG executive director Diana Burnett to seek Screen Australia’s support in inserting a provision in the Location Offset rules stipulating there must be an Australian director attachment on all projects which receive the incentive.

To no avail: a Screen Australia spokesperson told IF that is a matter for the Communications Department.