‘Animal Kingdom’ Creator Talks Taking Inspiration From Film, but Crafting a Different World

Animal Kingdom premiere
Mike Windle/Getty for TNT

TNT’s re-imagining of the 2010 Australian film “Animal Kingdom” premiered Wednesday at the Rose Room in Venice Beach, bringing out cast members Ellen Barkin, Ben Robson, Scott Speedman, Jake Weary, Finn Cole, Shawn Hatosy, Daniella Alonso, Molly Gordon and executive producer John Wells.

While “Animal Kingdom” takes inspiration from the movie, the creators wanted to craft a different world for the series. One key change was moving the setting from Melbourne to the beach town of Oceanside.

“We thought it was interesting — the whole idea of being in these kind of working class communities that are close to wealthy communities and there’s a certain amount of class resentment in a sense of Robin Hood like these people deserve to be robbed from because they moved into where we were and made it hard for us to live here,” said Wells.

“Oceanside is an excellent representation of that where it’s one of the few places that are left in California where you can live on the beach and have a regular job. So we were trying to take what we felt was the intention of the film — these wonderful characters that David [Michôd] created — and transplant it into a world that we knew.”

Though the cast had watched the original film prior to joining the series, they did not take inspiration from it because they realized early on “it was influenced by the movie, but it’s a very different thing,” Speedman said.

The cast attended an after-party following the screening which included skateboarding and dinner on the sand.

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