Australia-set fantasy-drama “Boy Swallows Universe” is to shoot in Brisbane, Queensland from next month. The series is an adaptation of Trent Dalton’s international best-selling novel “Boy Swallows Universe” and is being produced by Brouhaha Entertainment for streaming platform Netflix.
“Boy Swallows Universe” follows working-class Brisbane teenager Eli Bell in a whirlwind story about drug addiction, ex-cons, poverty, violence and the discovery of hope through the power of love, said local screen agency Screen Queensland.
Dalton says that the story involves a “boy who receives a message on a red rotary dial phone in a secret underground room that tells him he must bust into Brisbane’s notorious Boggo Road Prison to save his mum’s life on Christmas Day.”
“Boy Swallows Universe” was first published in 2018 by Harper Collins and holds the record as the fastest-selling Australia debut novel ever. It was subsequently produced as a stage play.
The previously announced series is adapted for screen by writer John Collee (“Master and Commander,” “Happy Feet,” “Hotel Mumbai”). Executive Producers are Troy Lum (“The Water Diviner,” “Saving Mr Banks,” “Mao’s Last Dancer”), Andrew Mason (“The Matrix,” “The Water Diviner”), Sophie Gardiner (“Howard’s End,” “Chimerica”), Kerry Kohansky-Roberts (“Foe,” “Boy Erased”) and Joel Edgerton (“The Great Gatsby,”
“Bright,” “The King”).
“This uniquely Brisbane production will also boost our local screen industry by injecting around A$33 million ($24.1 million) into the Queensland economy and creating approximately 185 jobs for cast and crew, and an estimated 2,500 extras,” said Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.
“Boy Swallows” was secured and will receive funding from Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy, which has drawn interstate and international production into Queensland since 2015. Recent examples include NBC Universal’s series “Young Rock,” Paramount Pictures’ “Love and Monsters,” Legendary Pictures’ “Godzilla vs Kong” and upcoming series “Limbo” for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Dalton captivated the world with his brutal, yet magical, tale set in 1980s Brisbane among iconic local landmarks such as Boggo Road Gaol and Brisbane City Hall’s clock tower,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Brisbane is such a key character in Boy Swallows Universe that Queensland was always the first-choice location for us to bring to life on screen the evocative and uniquely Australian universe that Trent created,” said Que Minh Luu, director of content at Netflix ANZ.