Start of production of The Messenger

Production begins next month in Sydney The messengeran 8 x 60 minute uplifting drama series announced by ABC last week.

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Markus Zusak and produced by Lingo Pictures, Helpmann Award winner William McKenna (Nowhere boys), alongside acclaimed actress Maggie Dence (Rake, Wonderland), Alexandra Jensen (Frayed amazing grace), Chris Alosio (Tropo) and actor, singer and songwriter Kartanya Maynard (death hole).

The creative team of lambs of godReturn including Sarah Lambert (The Lost Flowers by Alice Hart) and producer Jason Stephens (upright) and Elisa Argenzio (Fire, New Gold Mountain). Helen Bowden, Markus Zusak, Mika Zusak, Sarah Lambert and Daniel Nettheim are executive producers, along with ABC’s Sally Riley and Rebecca Anderson.

Also on the writing team are Kirsty Fisher (The Family Law, The Lost Flowers by Alice Hart), Kim Wilson (Total control, Wentworth) and Magda Wozniak (Bad behavior, Mustangs FC).

Daniel Nettoheim (The Tourist, Line of Duty, Doctor Who, Rush) is construction manager and Helena Brooks (Wellmania, 800 words) and Jennifer Leacey (The secrets she keeps frayed) will also direct.

Sally Riley, ABC’s Head of Drama, Entertainment and Indigenous, said, “We are thrilled to be working with the incredibly talented team at Lingo Pictures for the first time on this immersive feel-good series. We emphasize the importance and impact of human kindness and look forward to sharing this compelling series with our audiences next year.”

“This story is a story of untapped potential, reminding us that we are all remarkable in our own way. It’s about friendship and trying things out and falling over. It’s about unrequited love, bravery and getting back up. It’s about family and family of choice, but mostly about how small favors make big waves. The fairr allows us to step into a world where human kindness and connectedness are the heroes,” says Jason Stephens.

Grainne Brunsdon, Head of Content at Screen Australia, said: “We are delighted to support this enchanting story from prolific Australian writer Markus Zusak, brought to life on screen by the award-winning team at Lingo Pictures, alongside some of Australia’s finest screenwriters . The messenger promises to captivate viewers young and old with its poignant and redeeming story of what it means to be human.”

“Screen NSW is proud to support Lingo Pictures in bringing the world’s best-selling book to life The messenger by Sydney author Markus Zusak. Led by a strong cast and crew including a superb writing team led by Sarah Lambert joining forces with producers Jason Stephens and Elisa Argenzio, the eight-part series will call NSW home and showcase filming locations in Sydney and Lithgow to a wide audience. says Acting Director of Screen NSW David Gordon.

The messenger will be broadcast in 2023.

The series follows Ed Kennedy who is just another stupid human being until one day he isn’t anymore. On this day, he stops an armed robbery and happens to become a hero. The next day he gets messages… Four playing cards – ace of diamonds, clubs, spades and hearts. Each with their own tasks. Who is sending them? And what the hell is a hopeless taxi driver like Ed going to do with them? Ed was chosen to take care of him. He stumbles down this mysterious path, helping and hurting, completing the maps until he realizes the true message was meant for him. Being the messenger brought Ed back to life.

Production Credit: The Messenger is a Lingo Pictures Production for ABC. Major production investment by Screen Australia in association with ABC. Funded with support from Screen NSW and All3Media International manages international sales.

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