The ABC's 1970s crime and political corruption drama Power Without Glory based on Frank Hardy’s classic 1950 novel is to get a remake.
Producer Jane Scott and screenwriter Jan Sardi have optioned the TV rights from Hardy’s estate and the screenplay will be written by Sardi and Mac Gudgeon.
Oscar Whitbread produced the 26-episode series which aired in 1976 and starred Martin Vaughan as John West, Heather Canning, Irene Inescort, Rosalind Speirs and George Mallaby.
Scott is shopping the project, envisioned as two series each of six episodes, to Australian and international networks and distributors. No director is aboard yet.
A fictionalised version of the life of Melbourne businessman and ALP power-broker John Wren, the plot followed rise of John West from his poverty stricken beginnings in the slums of Melbourne ín the late 19th century to one of the most powerful and corrupt men in the land. The primary story arc followed West from his 20s to his 60s.
“History repeats itself; what was happening then is happening now,” said Scott, alluding to recent Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations in New South Wales.
“This will be gripping television. John West’s cut-throat building of a gambling and business empire and his pursuit of political power at all costs is as fresh and relevant today as when the book was first published.”
Scott has only seen parts of the ABC drama and doesn’t intend to revisit it, so the remake will be a fresh interpretation of the novel.
The producer and Sardi, who have a development company named Early Mark, first collaborated on Shine and later on Love’s Brother and Mao’s Last Dancer.
Sardi and Gudgeon co-wrote The Secret River, an adaptation of the Kate Grenville novel starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, directed by Daina Reid and produced by Ruby Entertainment for the ABC.