Acclaimed actors Anthony LaPaglia and Jessica Marais are joining Rebecca Gibney for the gripping crime thriller mini-series HALIFAX: Retribution it has been announced.
Rebecca Gibney reprises her role as forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax, with Hollywood-based Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Balibo, Lantana) and multi-award-winning actress Jessica Marais (Love Child, The Wrong Girl, Packed to The Rafters) signing on for the series which will start shooting in Melbourne later this month.
Anthony LaPaglia said: “Halifax has a rich and revered heritage and I am very much looking forward to working opposite the legend that is Rebecca Gibney in this latest iteration.”
Also joining the stellar cast are Jacqueline McKenzie (Safe Harbour, Romper Stomper, Pine Gap), Rick Donald (800 Words, A Place to Call Home, Wentworth), Hannah Monson (Glitch), Craig Hall (A Place to Call Home, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Catching Milat), Mavournee Hazel (Neighbours, My Life Is Murder) and Louisa Mignone (Secret City: Under the Eagle, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, Rake).
Jane Halifax is a rock star in the field of forensic psychiatry, and after years on the police frontline she has carved out a new career as a university professor. But when a serial sniper starts terrorising Melbourne, Jane is lured back into the field to help the police task force find the killer and save a city paralysed with fear. As she profiles a killer hidden in plain sight, Jane finds herself firmly in his view. This one is personal.
“I am beyond excited to be breathing new life into Jane Halifax as she was and still is one of my favourite characters, and I always believed there was so much more we could explore with her,” Rebecca Gibney said. “Having grown as a woman and hopefully as an actor over the last 20 years I’m really looking forward to exploring Jane’s world from a new perspective.”
“I’m also thrilled to be reuniting with Anthony LaPaglia, my co-star in Mental, and of course the spectacular Jessica Marais. Both are formidable talents and excellent humans so I know we will have a fantastic time on the shoot.”
“Roger Simpson has been at the forefront of the best Australian drama for over 35 years and has once again delivered a truly gripping storyline that I know will keep audiences guessing right up until the last episode, and the directors and crew we have assembled are world class. So I really believe this will be event television. Channel Nine was my drama home throughout the eighties and nineties and it’s great to be back.”
Jessica Marais said: “I am so excited to be working with Rebecca again, and on such an iconic drama.”
Original creator and writer Roger Simpson (Stingers, Satisfaction, Good Guys, Bad Guys) returns as writer and producer, alongside executive producer Mikael Borglund and writers Mac Gudgeon (Killing Time), Peter Gawler (Underbelly) and the Oscar-nominated Jan Sardi (Shine).
Andy Ryan, Nine’s co-Head of Drama, said: “Rebecca Gibney is one of the greats of Australian television, and we are delighted she’s coming home to Nine to bring the famous character Jane Halifax to a whole new audience. This will be the biggest and most exciting crime drama in years.”
Jo Rooney, Nine’s other co-Head of Drama, said: “We’re thrilled to have such an incredible cast on board for the exciting new chapter of this renowned franchise. To have actors of the calibre of Anthony LaPaglia and Jessica Marais joining HALIFAX: Retribution is incredible.”
HALIFAX: Retribution is a Beyond Lonehand Production for the Nine Network with major production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria. Beyond Distribution is handling international sales of the series which will launch at MIPCOM 2019.
Production Company Beyond Lone Hand continues a long association between Executive Producers Mikael Borglund and Roger Simpson which began with Beyond Simpson Le Mesurier in the 1980s. Roger Simpson said: “Mikael and I are very proud that Halifax Retribution will be the inaugural production of our new joint venture.”
Graeme Mason CEO of Screen Australia said: “Australian television has a rich history of creating iconic female characters and Jane Halifax is one of them. There is a real appetite to revisit these characters and bring them into new settings with Seachangealso in production for Nine. I can’t wait to see this established creative team and strong cast bring HALIFAX to a new generation.”
Film Victoria CEO, Caroline Pitcher, said: “Seeing HALIFAX return to Melbourne is a real thrill. We look forward to Rebecca Gibney reprising this iconic role which saw audiences fall in love with her and the series 25 years ago. We also look forward to seeing Melbourne shine on screens around the world, as we reconnect with past fans and welcome new audiences to yet another top television production proudly made here in Victoria.”