Audible listeners can soon lose themselves in a supernatural murder mystery that blends a foreboding private school, a haunting conspiracy, unnerving teenagers – and Aussie screen legend Eric Bana (“Munich,” “Dirty John,” “The Dry”).
Audible has announced Bana will lead the cast of their latest crime drama, The Orchard, created by Mike Jones and Mike Cowap. The thirteen-part Audible Original Podcast was recorded in Melbourne – Bana’s hometown – at the end of 2020. Bana joins other cast members Magda Szubanski (“Kath & Kim” “Babe”) Gary Sweet (“Police Rescue,” “Mystery Road,” “Bloom”) and Olivia Deeble (“Home and Away,” “Secret Society of Second Born Royals”).
The series is directed by veteran British filmmaker Bharat Nalluri, whose credits include celebrated drama series “Life on Mars”, “The 100” and new feature film “Unsound.”
At the edge of an old orchard, on the grounds of the exclusive Nevermoor girls school, a teenage boy is found dead. Was it murder, suicide, or something else…?
Disaffected police detective and struggling single parent, Adam Durwood (Bana), is assigned to investigate, but the closer he looks the more the facts don’t add up. At the centre of the mystery is a coven of three beguiling and manipulative teenage girls who seem to know much more than they should and are slowly drawing Adam into a web he can’t see.
When Adam’s daughter, Lily, is secretly befriended by the three girls of Nevermoor she begins to display bizarre behaviour; memories of things she never did, and visions of events she never saw. Adam is in danger, so is Lily, and the increasingly abnormal experiences push Adam to question reality. What begins as a crime investigation quickly becomes something much more extraordinary, unravelling the truth of the uncanny forces buried beneath Nevermoor.
Bharat Nalluri says, “The Orchard is a beautifully constructed story, full of wonderful characters and a powerful mystery at the heart of it that has you hooked from the very beginning to its riveting and unexpected conclusion. A visceral and terrifying journey.”
Writer & producer, Mike Jones says, “The first stories I ever loved were those told in the dark in hushed whispers. The power of audio to tell stories with that kind of palpable intimacy and seduction is unparalleled. For a writer this medium is enormously exciting.”
Writer & producer, Mike Cowap says “Over the past few years we’ve seen a huge resurgence of audio drama, a medium able to hold its own next to feature film and TV for its power to deliver an immersive and compelling storytelling experience. It’s testament to the excitement around the format that we have been able to bring together a stellar cast, led by Eric, and an internationally renowned director.”
Senior Director of Content, Audible Australia, Ben Naparstek says, “It’s incredibly exciting to have Eric lead an all-star cast for The Orchard. He brings depth and authenticity to all of the characters he plays and we know he will help bring this Australian story to a global audience.”
The Orchard is written and produced by Mike Jones and Mike Cowap, with Emma Fitzsimons serving as executive producer and is slated for release in Winter 2021,