Sundance Now announced today its acquisition from eOne of the US rights to the critically-acclaimed Aussie drama series Upright, starring the internationally-renowned Tim Minchin.

Upright - Tim Minchin
Upright: Tim Minchin as Lucky Flynn — Photo © Mark Rogers 2019, courtesy of Sundance Now

Co-written, composed by, and starring Logie Awards-winning Australian actor, comedian, and musician Tim Minchin (Californication, Jesus Christ Superstar), Upright follows Lucky (Minchin), the shabby Flynn family outcast who, when learning that his mother is dying, decides to drive to the other side of Australia to see her, packing nothing but an upright piano for the journey.

But his plans are soon turned upside down when he meets runaway teenager Meg (2018 Casting Guild of Australia Rising Star Award winner Milly Alcock, Reckoning, Pine Gap), who’s dealing with some family demons of her own.

Together, Lucky and Meg forge an unlikely friendship as they embark on a road trip adventure across the Nullarbor Plains in a race against time. Along the way, they encounter feral camels, a magical pink lake, highway thieves, clifftop parties, a speed-loving truckie, an underworld fight ring, suspicious cops, and the world’s most musically-appreciative motorcycle gang.

Over eight hot days, the pair drive, hitch, and scam their way across the scorching desert continent — with the upright piano never leaving their side — on a journey that will ultimately make them both feel more at peace with everything in life that they’ve been kicking against.

Tim Minchin, who is a co-executive producer on the series as well as its co-writer, composer and star, said this about Sundance Now’s acquisition:

“I’m so excited that our show has made it to the US, and thrilled that it has landed at Sundance Now. The reactions to Upright in the UK and Australia have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I can’t wait for Americans to see it. It’s quintessentially Aussie and, at the same time, utterly universal. And I’m pretty sure it’ll make you really laugh and properly cry, which – for me – is always the goal.”

Produced by Lingo Pictures (Lambs of God, The Secrets She Keeps) for Foxtel and Sky UK, the series costars Heather Mitchell (A Place to Call Home), Ella Scott Lynch (Janet King), and Daniel Lapaine (Catastrophe).

The eight-part drama is co-written by Chris Taylor (The Letdown), Kate Mulvany (Hunters), and Leon Ford (Offspring). Matthew Saville (Please Like Me) is the director. The producers are Jason Stephens (Mr & Mrs Murder) from Lingo Pictures, Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love) and Chris Taylor. Executive producing alongside Minchin are Penny Win and Helen Bowden.

The highly-anticipated US premiere of Upright will happen at a special screening and Q&A with Minchin with the ATX Television Festival in mid-July.

Upright begins its exclusive US premiere on Sundance Now on Thursday, August 6, 2020, with the first two episodes.


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Upright: Sundance Now Acquires Critically-Acclaimed Tim Minchin Drama Series for the US
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