Eric Bana has begun shooting the sequel to The Dry in regional Victoria, bringing Jane Harper’s detective Aaron Falk to the screen for a second instalment of what the filmmakers hope will eventually be a movie trilogy.
Production on Force of Nature, based on Harper’s second Falk novel, began on Monday. The film is once again written and directed by Robert Connolly, with Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky and Jodi Matterson of Made Up Stories producing alongside Bana and Connolly, who share office space in Port Melbourne.
Like The Dry, the new movie is a murder mystery in which the landscape serves as much more than mere background. In it, Bana’s Falk is joined by federal agent Carmen Cooper (Jacqueline McKenzie) in the search for a whistleblower (Anna Torv) who goes missing while on a corporate hiking retreat with four other women.
Her fellow hikers-turned-suspects are played by Deborra-Lee Furness, Robin McLeavy (Homeland), Sisi Stringer (Mortal Kombat) and Lucy Ansell (Utopia).
Like The Dry, the film will be shot on location in Victoria, and feature the landscape as an integral character. Unlike The Dry, it will be cold, green and very likely wet, with the Dandenongs, the Yarra Valley and the Otways among the principal filming locations.
“Jane has once again provided a thrilling story that gives us another chance to showcase a unique and incredible Australian landscape,” said Bana.
While the filmmakers had always hoped the Falk saga had the makings of a screen franchise, he added, “its fate always rested with the Australian cinema-going public. Their overwhelming support of The Dry turns this into a reality.”