KILLER PLOT SMASH HIT

With sea­son three be­ing shot, lady sleuth Miss Fisher is now cast­ing an eye over a fu­ture fea­ture-film adap­ta­tion that will fi­nally give this larger-than-life char­ac­ter the big can­vas she so richly de­serves

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - AN­DREW FEN­TON

Glam­orous lady de­tec­tive Miss Fisher is em­bark­ing on her most ex­cit­ing adventure yet: a fea­ture-film adap­ta­tion, shot in Eng­land and a va­ri­ety of ex­otic lo­ca­tions around the world.

The mak­ers of the show re­port strong in­ter­est in the screen­play and are scour­ing the globe for an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised star to join the cast.

Head writer Deb Cox says a fea­ture will fi­nally give their larger than life char­ac­ter the big can­vas she de­serves, de­scrib­ing the tone as: “The same kind of tongue-in-cheek ad­ven­tures on the big screen that In­di­ana Jones has man­aged for the last three decades. There will be a UK shoot and an ex­otic lo­ca­tion shoot and Phyrne will fly her light plane all the way, break­ing avi­a­trix records of the day! Essie (Davis) is cur­rently based in the UK so that also works well for her.”

The hit show re­turns this week for a third sea­son. With an av­er­age au­di­ence of 1.5 mil­lion view­ers, sales to 120 ter­ri­to­ries around the world and a grow­ing fan­base thanks to Net­flix in the US, Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies has a level of brand recog­ni­tion few other Aussie se­ries can boast.

Ev­ery Cloud Pro­duc­tions has al­ready turned down an of­fer from an LA pro­ducer to de­velop a US ver­sion of the se­ries be­cause the mak­ers want to main­tain the qual­ity of the lo­cal one, but Cox says they’re “very in­ter­ested in the po­ten­tial for that” in the fu­ture. “It could work beau­ti­fully in 1920s New York or Los An­ge­les,” she says.

Davis also has a grow­ing in­ter­na­tional pro­file, thanks in part to her role in The Babadook – a low-bud­get Aus­tralian psy­cho­log­i­cal­hor­ror film that drew rave re­views over­seas.

On set at Rip­pon­lea Es­tate in Mel­bourne dur­ing film­ing of sea­son three, Davis acts coy when asked about the fea­ture film plans.

“That’s top se­cret in­for­ma­tion,” smiles the actress, her sig­na­ture black bob in stark con­trast to to­day’s bril­liant white ten­nis out­fit. But she reels off her wish list for the film.

“There’s all sorts of amaz­ing things you could do. There’s got to be horses, there’s got to be rick­shaw chases, lots of build­ing climb­ing as well as rooftop run­ning, things like that!”

The 45 year old says her favourite parts of the show are the ac­tion se­quences, which last sea­son saw her scale Par­lia­ment House and this sea­son has Davis per­form­ing un­der­wa­ter es­cape tricks and rac­ing mo­tor­cy­cles while be­ing filmed by drone he­li­copters.

But she says ac­tion se­quences are of­ten cur­tailed as they “take quite a bit of time” – a luxury they can’t al­ways af­ford as each episode is shot in just eight days.”

Davis is by her own ad­mis­sion “in­cred­i­bly am­bi­tious” and still feels let down by The Babadook’s fail­ure in Australia where it quickly dis­ap­peared, tak­ing just $258,000. But the tiny film, made for just $2.5 mil­lion was em­braced over­seas, tak­ing more than a mil­lion each in the US and France. It also picked up a swag of awards and a 98 per cent ap­proval rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes.

“It’s a bloody bush­fire in the rest of the world. In Australia I have friends who go: ‘Oh yeah, when’s that com­ing out’?”

Miss Fisher The Movie is un­likely to suf­fer that same fate, if only thanks to its ar­dent fans – who mounted a huge cam­paign to get the ABC to re­new it af­ter the na­tional broad­caster dithered for a year.

Sea­son three of­fers a new and unique world in each episode, from the vaudeville magic theatre scene of the opener to as­tron­omy at the Botanic Gar­dens’ ob­ser­va­tory and to­day’s Great Gatsby- like ten­nis episode.

Fisher’s es­tranged fa­ther (Pip Miller) re­turns from over­seas to cre­ate trou­ble, and Dot (Ash­leigh Cum­mings) takes on a Wat­son-like role to Miss Fisher’s Holmes.

“At times she’s on even ground with Phyrne in terms of in­ves­ti­gat­ing and she has re­ally come into her own now as a de­tec­tive,” the 22 year old ex­plains.

In real life Cum­mings looks up to Davis, see­ing her as both a men­tor and a friend, and says they dis­close ev­ery­thing to one an­other.

Fans are pas­sion­ate about

Miss Fisher’s Mur­der Mys­ter­ies

as stars Ash­leigh Cum­mings and Essie Davis serve up sea­son three.

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