Kate Mulvany, Xavier Samuel, Claudia Karvan join Disney+ thriller ‘The Clearing’

Kate Mulvany, Claudia Karvan and Xavier Samuel have been added to the cast of 'The Clearing'.

Wooden Horse’s The Clearing has begun production in Victoria for Disney+, with Kate Mulvany, Xavier Samuel, Claudia Karvan and Anna Lise Phillips joining the previously announced leads of Teresa Palmer, Miranda Otto and Guy Pearce.

The eight-part psychological thriller is based on J.P. Pomare’s novel In the Clearing and is inspired by the Australian cult The Family and its founder Anne Hamilton-Byrne, who will be played by Otto.

The plot will follow a woman (Palmer) forced to confront the nightmares of her past to stop a secret cult intent on gathering children to fulfill its master plan.

Other cast members revealed today include Harry Greenwood, Doris Younane, Miah Madden, Julia Savage, Gary Sweet, Alicia Gardiner, Matt Okine and Jeremy Blewitt.

Hazem Shammas, Mark Coles-Smith, Erroll Shand, Lily La Torre, and Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi also star in the emsemble, as unveiled at Disney+’s originals launch in May.

Jeffrey Walker and Gracie Otto – Miranda’s half-sister – direct, with the series is created and written by Elise McCredie and Matt Cameron, with co-writer Osamah Sami.

Wooden Horse’s Jude Troy produces with Richard Finlayson and Egeria’s Elizabeth Bradley serving as executive producers alongside Walker, Troy, McCredie and Cameron.

The Clearing is one of nine original projects – and three scripted dramas – announced by Disney+ in May, with the streamer ramping up Australian commissions amid continued industry debate about local content regulation for SVODs.

Last Days of the Space Age, an eight-part dramedy from Princess Pictures created by David Chidlow, also started shooting for Disney+ last week, with production to take place across Sydney and Perth.

Radha Mitchell and Jesse Spencer lead the cast with Deborah Mailman and Linh-Dan Pham, with the ensemble also including Iain Glen, George Mason, Vico Thai, Ines English,  Jacek Koman, Mackenzie Mazur, Emily Grant, Thomas Weatherall and Aidan Chiem.

Chidlow wrote the script with Alice Addison, Dot West and Jeremy and Alan Nguyen, with Rachel Ward and Kriv Stenders directing alongside set-up director Bharat Nalluri  as directors. Laura Waters and Emma Fitzsimonsare executive producers for Princess Pictures, alongside Chris Loveall, Stephanie Swedlove, Anna Dokoza as well as Nalluri and Chidlow, with Christine Pham as series producer.