Grant Bowler, of True Blood and Ugly Betty, has returned to Australia to co-star with Vince Colosimo in the Nine Network’s new telemovie Panic at Rock Island.
The telemovie also stars Damian Walshe-Holwing (Underbelly), Jessica Tovey (Home and Away, Underbelly: The Golden Mile), Dee Smart (Water Rats), Simone Kessell (Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, Frost/Nixon) and Anna Hutchinson (Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities).
Panic at Rock Island, from the producers and director of last year’s top-rating disaster telemovie, Scorched, will also include performances by Australian rock bands You Am I and Spiderbait.
Panic at Rock Island is set on an island in spectacular Sydney Harbour. Under the hot summer sun, a lineup of top acts play for music fans from around the world. It’s all idyllic until unimaginable disaster strikes when a deadly virus is discovered on the island. Its symptoms are shocking and it brings swift and painful death.
Director Tony Tilse, whose work includes Underbelly, Scorched, Lockie Leonard and A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne, is also the producer, along with Rosemary Blight from leading Australia production company Goalpost Pictures Australia.
Blight has produced several films and television dramas including Clubland, Small Claims, Stepfather of the Bride and Love is a Four Letter Word. She was also executive producer of the Cannes Film Festival sensation, The Tree.
In a first for an Australian television telemovie, the co-financing partner is NBC Universal who have acquired the world pay-TV rights.
Jo Horsburgh, Head of Nine Drama, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with Rosemary Blight and Tony Tilse again, as producers, and in Tony’s case, also director. They bring great passion and excitement to the process. Panic is an ambitious, star-studded, rollicking telemovie set to entertain and thrill the audience.”
Rosemary Blight said: “Panic at Rock Island is high-concept, thrilling television drama and we are delighted to have drawn together such an all-star cast, music talent and production team, with the tremendous support of Channel Nine and our other international partners.”