There is, as they say, nothing new under the sun – only variations and modified re-hashings. In the case of TNT’s upcoming drama series, Animal Kingdom, however, showrunner Jonathan Lisco has used the occasion of a panel for the Television Critics Association to set his show apart from its source material – the award-winning Australian film of the same name.
Released in 2010, Animal Kingdom was a loose dramatization of events in Melbourne that occurred during the 1980s – largely centred on the Pettingill crime family. It starred Jacki Weaver as the terrifying matriarch, Smurf Cody, along with Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Guy Pearce, among others. It was written and directed by David Michod (The Rover), who will also serve as executive producer on this television version – as Jonathan Liscoe explained.
“[Film writer/director] David Michod and [producer] Liz Watts are involved in this TV show. I think David would say the inspiration for the movie came from the Pettingill family, an Australian crime family. They’re a little over the top. I believe the matriarch of that family wound up with a glass eye. She got shot through the doorway by an adversary. I think the material is an example of truth being a little stranger than fiction and she wound up being a moustache twirly villain. We’re portraying a mother who infantalizes her sons, warps them while infantalizes them.”
But, while the series is an adaptation of the film, it will be quite different because the focus will shift from the crime element, to the internal machinations of the family.
“Look, there’s going to be a concrete crime component to the story. We’re telling a story about a family of criminals who pull jobs. That won’t necessarily be the A story. We’ll do it in a way that will surprise you and not hew to the movie.”
The television series Animal Kingdom will air on TNT during summer 2016, and stars Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy and Finn Cole. It is written by showrunner Jonathan Liscoe, with executive producer John Wells in the director’s chair for an unknown number of episodes.
Source: Animal Kingdom