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
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.