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Toni Collette Joins BBC, Netflix Drama ‘Wanderlust’

Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”) will play a therapist at the center of contemporary relationship drama “Wanderlust.” The BBC and Netflix, which are co-producing, have the series in the U.K. and globally, respectively.

Steven Mackintosh (“Lucky Man”), Zawe Ashton (“Fresh Meat”) and Royce Pierreson (“Line of Duty”) will also star in the six-parter. It follows therapist Joy Richards as she attempts to keep the spark with her husband alive after an accident. The story encompasses their relationship and those of her family, friends, neighbors and clients.

“Wanderlust” is award-winning playwright Nick Payne’s (“Constellations”) first TV work, and is directed by Luke Snellin (“The A Word”) and Lucy Tcherniak (“The End of the F***ing World” for Channel 4 and Netflix). “Doctor Foster” producer Drama Republic is making the series.

“I am honored and thrilled to work with Nick Payne’s wonderful words on ‘Wanderlust,’” said Collette. “It is an authentic and revolutionary story about relationships, sex, love and all the things we really care about. I could not be more excited.”

“Toni’s natural warmth, complexity and wit combine to make her the perfect Joy,” added BBC drama boss Piers Wenger. “Nick’s scripts strike an utterly distinctive and original tone and I cannot wait to see them come to life in the very capable hands of director Luke Snellin and the outstanding team at Drama Republic.”

The show is the latest BBC-Netflix joint effort after “Troy” and “Duty/Shame,” but there is some question in the U.K. over whether the streamer will continue to work with broadcasters in this way.

Drama executive Jane Featherstone said last week that co-production between the traditional and SVOD players will virtually cease in the next 12 to 18 months, and BBC chief Tony Hall warned that competition from Amazon and Netflix could cause a drop in uniquely British shows. Pay-TV heavyweight Sky, meanwhile, fired back at the BBC and said the U.K. would remain central to big, global drama projects.

Drama Republic has a first-look deal with BBC Worldwide, which brokered the BBC-Netflix deal.

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