Vic Zerbst, Jenna Owen gather round for Imogen McCluskey’s ‘Nugget Is Dead: A Christmas Story’

Front are Vic Zerbst and Jenna Owen. Back (from left) is Damien Garvey, Gia Carides, Mandy McElhinney, Steve Rodgers, and Claude Jabbour.

Vic Zerbst and Jenna Owen, formerly of SBS’s The Feed, have found their way to festive features, writing and starring in Stan Original Nugget Is Dead: A Christmas Story.

Shooting has begun in Sydney on the Easy Tiger and CBS Studios production, which follows Steph Stool (Zerbst), who is forced to abandon her very elegant holiday plans with her boyfriend’s family and return instead to her small coastal hometown after her family’s beloved family dog Nugget falls sick.

In the week leading up to Christmas, each member of the Stool family must grapple with the mortality of the one thing that unifies them.

Zerbst and Owen are joined in the main cast by Gia Carides, Damien Garvey, and Mandy McElhinney, while there are also contributions from Steve Rodgers, Alec Snow, Tara Morice, Priscilla Doueihy, Claude Jabbour, Ed Oxenbould, Diana McLean, Lelong Hu, Tiriel Mora, Alexei Toliopoulos and Kerry Armstrong.

Imogen McCluskey is directing, with Naomi Just producing, and Easy Tiger’s Rob Gibson and Ian Collie executive producing alongside Cailah Scobie and Donna Chang for Stan.

Nugget Is Dead: A Christmas Story follows previous Stan Original Christmas films A Sunburnt Christmas, Christmas on the Farm, Christmas Ransom, and Jones Family Christmas.

Zerbst and Owen, whose original sketch comedy work has amassed over 90 million views online, said they “couldn’t be prouder and more excited” to bring their movie to the streamer.

“To be taking our first deep-dive into longform with a cast of Australian icons, new and old… it’s beyond our wildest dreams,” they said.

Vic Zerbst and Jenna Owen.

McCluskey described the project as “a big-hearted, hilarious and refreshingly modern story with a stellar cast”.

“Striking the balance between the deeply personal and universal, Jenna and Vic have created a story that is sure to hit home for our audience,” she said.

Gibson and Collie, who previously worked with Stan on drama series Scrublands, expected the film to “make audiences everywhere laugh and cry”.

“We’re thrilled to partner with our amazingly talented pals Jenna and Vic to bring their gloriously chaotic vision of Australian Christmas to the screen,” they said.

“It’s been a delight to work with them every step of the way, with the passionate support of Stan and CBS Studios.”

Similarly, JJust said Nugget is Dead: A Christmas Story had “everything that Australian audiences relish at Christmas time” in that there was “comedy, chaotic families, endless food and summer, as well as one very special dog called Nugget”.

Nugget Is Dead: A Christmas Story will premiere on Stan later this year.