NBCUniversal’s ‘La Brea’ heads north to Gold Coast for third season

'La Brea'(Photo: Carrie Kennedy)

Two days after it was confirmed as the shoot location for the Mortal Kombat sequel, Queensland has lured another big-scale production with the third season of NBCUniversal drama La Brea.

While the first two seasons of the series, which follows a family that tries to survive after they are separated by a massive sinkhole that mysteriously opens in Los Angeles, were filmed in Victoria, the shoot for the third is taking place on the Gold Coast and in the Scenic Rim region.

The new episodes are being supported by the Federal Government’s Location Incentive with the expectation they will create more than 200 jobs for local cast and crew, while injecting $66 million into the national economy. The production is also being assisted by the City of Gold Coast.

Universal Television senior vice president of production Richard Ross, said the company were looking forward to creating another “epic season” of the series, having so far had “an incredible experience” in Australia so far.

The third instalment of the series, created and written by showrunner David Appelbaum, will continue to tell the story of the sinkhole that transports a disparate group of strangers to an unexplainable primeval world where they must work together to survive.

The cast includes Eoin Macken, Natalie Zea, Jon Seda, and Australian actor Rohan Mirchandaney.

Appelbaum executive produces with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt, and Ken Woodruff.

Produced by Universal Television and Keshet Studios, with Australian production managed by Matchbox Pictures, La Brea became the largest TV project to shoot in Victoria in more than a decade when the first season was announced in 2021.

Universal Studio Group and Matchbox Pictures also partnered with AFTRS on a training initiative dedicated to virtual production.

La Brea now forms part of a series of Universal Studio Group projects that have been based in Queensland, joining Young Rock, Joe vs Carole, Irreverrent, and the upcoming Apples Never Fall — currently in production at Village Roadshow Studios.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was delighted to add the drama to the “incredibly positive partnership”.

La Brea will contribute an estimated $38 million to the Queensland economy, continue an employment pipeline for our esteemed crews and creatives, and showcase some of the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim’s stunning locations to a global audience,” she said.

Arts Minister Tony Burke said international productions like La Brea benefit the Australian economy as well as our local screen industry.

“Bringing productions like this to our shores means a whole lot of Australian jobs, as well as important opportunities for skills and training in the local screen industry,” he said.

“It’s essential we continue to do that.”