AMC+ announced today the start of production on its new Original series Firebite, as well as the show’s lead cast.
Production starts this week in South Australia on Firebite, a high-octane, highly-original spin on the vampire vertical in the fantasy genre.
Taking on the lead roles in the series are Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black, Deep Water), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Glitch), and Callan Mulvey (The Luminaries, Mystery Road). Joining them is Indigenous Australian actress Shantae Barnes-Cowan (Total Control).
Firebite is set in a remote mining town in the middle of the South Australian desert, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations. Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger are growing.
War is coming, and Tyson (Collins) and Shanika (Barnes-Cowan), two Indigenous Australian hunters on a quest to battle this last colony of vampires, stand vanguard to the war. But what hope do a reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious, blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?
A co-production between AMC Studios and See-Saw Films, the eight-episode drama is created and written by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country), who also directs along with Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards) and Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe).
Said Thornton and Fletcher:
“Our only rule was to find great people, no matter where they came from. We have actors who’ve worked on big Hollywood blockbusters, and others that are flying in from remote Aboriginal communities who light up the screen with natural presence. To us, they are all movie stars.”
Added Executive Producer Rachel Gardner:
“We love our cast. They bring these characters to life with authenticity, power and a solid dose of naughty. It feels like this is going to be something special.”
Kristin Jones, Executive Vice President, International Programming and Program Innovation, AMC Networks said:
“We are committed to creating compelling programming with diverse voices and representation for our viewers, and Firebite delivers on this goal. We’re thrilled to bring this unique original series to life authentically with a stellar cast and crew on Indigenous lands with Indigenous storytelling.”
See-Saw’s Managing Directors and Executive Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning added:
“As we start principal photography, we’re delighted to announce our exceptional cast and the addition of our friend Tony Krawitz to the directing team. Led by visionary director Warwick Thornton, we’re going to be in for an exciting ride”
Kristin Jones is overseeing the series for AMC Networks. Executive Producers for See-Saw Films are Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Rachel Gardner, Thornton, and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis serves as co-executive producer, with Libby Sharpe as co-producer and Billy Bowring as associate producer. Paul Ranford (Stateless, True History of the Kelly Gang) will produce the series alongside Indigenous filmmaker Dena Curtis (Elements, Grace Beside Me), who is co-producing. The writing team includes Kodie Bedford and newcomers Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.
The series has received major funding from the South Australian Film Corporation, and the production is providing employment opportunities for First Nations practitioners.
Firebite set to debut on AMC+ this winter. Stay tuned for updates.
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