‘Jonah from Tonga.’
Four years after he starred in and created Jonah from Tonga, Chris Lilley is making a comeback in a 10-part series commissioned by Netflix.
Produced by Lilley and his long-time producing partner Laura Waters, the untitled series will start shooting this month in Queensland.
The deal renews the relationship which started when Netflix acquired Australian and New Zealand streaming rights to Lilley’s previous series Jonah from Tonga, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, Summer Heights High and We Can Be Heroes.
Jonah from Tonga and Ja’mie: Private School Girl were coproductions between the ABC, HBO in the US and the UK’s BBC3.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Netflix series will generate a $6.35 million boost for the economy, employing up to 250 Queensland cast and extras plus around 100 local crew.
The production will also support two local screen practitioners who will have the opportunity to work on the series to further develop their professional skills, she said.
Queensland won the series as part of its $50 million production attraction strategy which has lured major film and television productions including Harrow, Tidelands, Thor: Ragnarok and Aquaman.
Waters’ Princess Pictures and Pablo Pictures are coproducing How to Stay Married, a comedy series for Network Ten which stars Peter Helliar and Lisa McCune as a long-married couple whose relationship is stuck in a rut as he is made redundant and she goes back to work
Netflix appears to be ramping up its Australian commissions, with Hoodlum Entertainment shooting Tidelands in Queensland and Screentime preparing to make Pine Gap in South Australia for Netflix and the ABC.