Stan bolsters local slate with range of new commissions

'Bump' season two is underway in Sydney, while Stan has greenlit a third.

Stan has announced a slew of new local commissions as it ramps up ambitious plans to have around a third of its first-run slate come from original production.

These include Hoodlum Entertainment feature film Christmas on the Farm, Matchbox Pictures drama Bad Behaviour, and a number of projects with Roadshow Rough Diamond, with whom the Nine-owned streamer has extended its partnership. With the latter it is readying a third season of Bump and a spin-off, Year Of, as well as a Gregor Jordan-helmed crime drama, Ironside.

Last year, Stan flagged it intends to invest in more than 30 productions per year within five years, drawing on Nine’s production facilities and co-productions with international partners including Hollywood studios and international networks.

Earlier this month, the service announced a children’s feature film initiative with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), and it has a lengthy list of upcoming local projects including series Wolf Like Me with NBC’s Peacock and The Tourist, in partnership with the BBC and HBO Max, and feature films GoldThe Portable DoorTransfusion and Nitram, which recently premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, with lead actor Caleb Landry-Jones winning the best actor prize.

Stan chief content officer Cailah Scobie said “world-class” original content was central to the service’s growth strategy.

“We’re thrilled our new slate of originals will feature a who’s who of Australian and international actors and creatives,” she said.

“These local productions are being made in collaboration with some of the world’s biggest studios and we look forward to adding these Australian productions to Stan’s already unrivalled lineup of originals.”

Notably however, Stan is opposed to local content obligations from SVOD platforms, arguing it would put a strain on the Australian production sector’s resources.

Poppy Montgomery leads ‘Christmas on the Farm’.

Poppy Montgomery will lead the cast of Christmas on the Farm, starring as Clementine Jones, an Australian author whose autobiographical book about life on a Queensland farm is snapped up by powerhouse publishers London & London. But the truth is, “Clementine” is actually Emmy Jones – a New York socialite who has been passing her late mother’s journals off as her own.

When the publisher announces that they’re travelling to Australia for an authentic
‘Clementine’ Christmas before signing off on the lucrative deal, Emmy must race back to the old family farm, roping in her cousin David (Hugh Sheridan) and his husband Miles (Nicholas Brown) to help maintain the ruse. One problem: London & London CEO Ellison (Jeannette Cronin) shows up with her handsome adult son Jack (Darren McMullen) in tow if he remembers the night he met Emmy in New York, the deal could all come crashing down.

Asmara Feik and Demi Harmon also star in the film, due to begin production this month in Queensland. The script is written by Christmas movie doyenne Jennifer Notas Shapiro (Christmas Lost and Found, Wrapped Up in Christmas), with additional writing by Samantha Strauss and Christopher Weekes attached to direct.

Montgomery executive produces with Hoodlum’s Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield, and Tracey Vieira and the US-based Ruthanne Secunda. eOne is handling international distribution and presales through TF1 France.

Robertson, Hoodlum CEO, said: “We’re thrilled to kick off our first Stan Original with this fun and festive feature, and a wonderful cast of characters that have come to play with us here in Queensland. We need to laugh and love now more than ever.”

Matchbox Pictures’ ‘Bad Behaviour’ adapts the novel by Rebecca Starford.

Bad Behaviour, based on the book by Rebecca Starford, promises an emotionally and physically intense glimpse into the lives of teenage girls at the wilderness campus of an exclusive girls’ boarding school. The four part drama is helmed by an all-female creative team in scribes Pip Karmel and Magda Wozniak, producer Amanda Higgs and director Corrie Chen. NBCUniversal will handle international sales, with finance via Screen Australia and Film Victoria.

Matchbox Pictures managing director Alastair McKinnon said: “From a powerhouse team of all-female creatives led by the incomparable Amanda Higgs, Bad Behaviour is a thrilling look at the lives of teenagers and the decisions that can indelibly shape their future lives. In Stan, we have the perfect partner that understands the timeless power of this story and its contemporary urgency.”

Roadshow Rough Diamond’s Ironside is a crime drama inspired by the true story of the AFP’s use of the encrypted ANOM app to track and trap criminals. Dan and John Edwards will once again team with writer-director Jordan, with whom they worked on Seven’s Australian Gangster, to deliver the series, alongside Nine journalist Nick McKenzie.

Season two of the company’s Bump is currently in production in Sydney, with season three expected to kick off next year.

The second edition features a returning cast that includes Claudia Karvan, Nathalie Morris, Carlos Sanson Jnr, Angus Sampson, Catalina Palma, Safia Arain, Paula Garcia, Ioane Saula, Christian Byers, Claudia de Giusti, Miguel Andrade and Ricardo Scheihing Vasquez.

The series begins with Oly and Santi in a new place of hope and uncertainty. They’ve had a baby, fallen in love, moved in together and then back out; now they might even get to know each other. Just four-ish months into baby Jacinda’s life, both families are also about to deal with the fallout after Rosa discovers Angie and Matias’ transgression.

Directors Geoff Bennett and Leticia Caceres return, alongside Matthew Moore and Jessica Tuckwell. Bump is created and co-written by Kelsey Munro, who is joined again by her season one writing team: Jessica Tuckwell, Timothy Lee, Mithila Gupta and Steven Arriagada, alongside Fernanda Penaloza. Karvan produces Bump with Dan and John Edwards. ITV Studios has the international rights.

Spin-off Year Of will see Munro and Tuckwell pen a series set in and around the school in Bump. It follows the senior years of high school – exploring the liminal time between childhood and adulthood for the kids and the renegotiations with adults that it brings.

Dan and John Edwards said Stan had proven to be a perfect creative partner on both Bump and Romper Stomper, and are thrilled to extend the relationship via Year Of and Ironside.

“This comes as Rough Diamond is at the beginning of an expansion phase as we bring creative producing partners under our umbrella,” they said in a joint statement.