Eric Bana and Victoria to star in screen adaptation of The Dry

Jane Harper's best-selliing novel set for the big screen.

Regional Victoria is set to star in the screen adaptation of The Dry, the best-selling novel by Melbourne-based author Jane Harper, boosting economic activity across the state and showcasing Victoria to an international audience.

The Dry is helmed by Victorian director Robert Connolly (Paper Planes, Balibo), with Victorian actor and executive producer Eric Bana (The Castle, Munich, Troy) cast as the lead, and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies), Jodi Matterson (Down Under, 2:22) and Steve Hutensky (2:22, The Nightingale) producing.

Supported by Film Victoria’s Production Incentives, filming and post-production will span four months, with the entire 38-day shoot taking place in regional Victorian locations, capturing towns, rivers, countryside and arid landscapes to create the fictional community of Kiewarra.

The Dry will inject more than AU$8 million into the state during production and post-production, of which AU$1.2 million will be spent in regional Victoria. Creating 162 jobs for Victorian crew, the production will also engage around 40 local businesses and service providers.

As a story that is both set and filmed in Victoria, The Dry offers a unique opportunity for regional Victoria to be promoted on the global stage, generating flow-on effects for local tourism.

Victorian practitioners involved with The Dry will work with an outstanding team including Bruna Papandrea’s production company Made Up Stories (Little Monsters, The Nightingale), and award-winning duo Robert Connolly and Eric Bana, who also worked together on Romulus, My Father in regional Victoria.

Director Robert Connolly said: “I am so excited to return to regional Victoria to direct Jane Harper’s powerful detective thriller, The Dry. This story depends so critically on its setting here in Victoria, and Film Victoria’s support to make this happen has been invaluable.

“Eric Bana and I have been looking for some time for a film here in our home town; a story that can speak to the world of an Australia that is familiar and authentic, working from our production base in Melbourne. 

With big universal themes that are timely and relevant, it is a gift in my career to have the chance to adapt The Dry for the screen and to work with Eric, Bruna and the talented Made Up Stories team to bring this project to life.”

The Dry is due to be released in January 2020.

The film has received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. It will be distributed by Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand.