Robert Connolly and Eric Bana begin filming follow up to ‘The Dry’ in Victoria

Top row (from left) are Deborra-lee Furness, Lucy Ansell, Sisi Stringer, and Richard Roxburgh. Bottom row (from left) are Robin McLeavy, Eric Bana, Anna Torv and Jacqueline McKenzie.

The team behind the award-winning film The Dry has begun production on another Jane Harper feature adaptation in Victoria, with Eric Bana reprising his role as Aaron Falk and Robert Connolly returning as writer and director.

Set to shoot primarily in the Dandenong Ranges, Yarra Valley, and the Otways, Force of Nature follows five women that take part in a corporate hiking retreat, from which only four come out on the other side.

Federal Agents Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper (Jacqueline McKenzie) head deep into the Victorian mountain ranges to investigate in the hopes of finding their whistle-blowing informant, Alice Russell (Anna Torv), alive.

Deborra-lee Furness, Robin McLeavy, Sisi Stringer, and Lucy Ansell play the remaining hikers, while Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor is back in the role of Erik Falk, alongside Richard Roxburgh as Daniel Bailey, Tony Briggs as Ian Chase and Kenneth Radley as Sergeant King.

Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky are again producing alongside Bana for Pick Up Truck Pictures and Connolly for Arenamedia. Ricci Swart, Andrew Myer, Robert Patterson, Joel Pearlman and Edwina Waddy are executive producing.

The film has received major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with VicScreen, and is being financed with support from Soundfirm and Blue Post. Roadshow is on board as local distributor, with WME Independent to handle international sales.

Connolly said he was “so excited” to return to the world of detective Aaron Falk.

“We’re also delighted by the exceptional cast of established and emerging actors joining us on this journey,” he said.

“Jane Harper’s Force of Nature is a deeply emotional and thrilling story showcasing the extraordinary world and landscape of the Australian wilderness.”

Bana said he was proud to be able to follow up The Dry.

“Jane has once again provided a thrilling story that gives us another chance to
showcase a unique and incredible Australian landscape,” he said.

“Whilst it was always our dream to bring this story to the big screen, its fate always rested with the Australian cinemagoing public. Their overwhelming support of The Dry turns this into a reality.”

Eric Bana and Robert Connolly on the set of ‘The Dry’.

Released on New Year’s Day in 2021, The Dry took in more than $20 million at the Australian box office to become the fifth-biggest release of the year and the 14th highest grossing Australian film of all time.

Screen Australia head of content Grainne Brunsdon said the cast and setting of the sequel meant it was likely to become “another cinematic event”.

“The Dry was an extraordinary success, reaching number one at the Australian box office and quickly becoming an Australian classic,” she said.

We’re delighted to support this immensely talented team’s return for Force of Nature and deliver an enthralling Australian thriller.”

Victorian Creative Industries Minister Danny Pearson said the production would inject $10 million into the state’s economy and “showcase Victoria’s regions to the world”.