by Emily Nadolny

Written and created by visionary Indigenous director Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country), with directors Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards) and Tony Krawitz (Dead Europe, Jewboy) also at the helm, Firebite promises to be a fresh take on the vampire genre with an Australian flair.

When hearing the word ‘vampire’, there is an immediate association with either the old school vampire of old-world Europe – a medley of ancient, wintery, eastern European castles and smoky Victorian era London imagery – or the modern, flashy American vampires – who drive fancy cars and prey on teenage girls. The majority of vampire media that Australians consume is imported, so it will be refreshing to have a distinctly Australian vampire story that not only has the backdrop of Australia, but also incorporates our history. Something that Warwick Thornton did brilliantly with Sweet Country’s revisionist Western.

In the series, protagonists Tyson (Rob Collins) and Shanika (Shantae Barnes-Cowan), a pair of Aboriginal vampire hunters, are on the hunt for the last colony of vampires, hidden in the mines and tunnels under a desert town. Why, out of all places, are vampires there? Because Britain shipped them over to aid with eradicating the Indigenous population in 1788, and the vampires are presumably stuck there due to being surrounded by nothing but desert and an ever-glaring sun.

Firebite has collected a cast of proven actors, executive producer Rachel Gardner describing them as bringing “these characters to life with authenticity, power and a solid dose of naughty. It feels like this is going to be something special.”

Whilst this will be Shantae Barnes-Cowan’s first introduction to the international stage, Firebite will also feature Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Extraction) and Callan Mulvey (Avengers: Endgame) in the leading roles.

“Our only rule was to find great people, no matter where they came from,” added Warwick Thornton and Brendan Fletcher. “We have actors who’ve worked on big Hollywood blockbusters, and others that are flying in from remote Aboriginal communities who light up the screen with natural presence. To us, they are all movie stars.”

Firebite is being produced by AMC Studios (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad) and See-Saw Films (The King’s Speech) and will screen in mid-2022.


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