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Joel Edgerton on Netflix hit ‘The Stranger’

Written and directed by Thomas M. Wright, the independent Australian crime thriller “The Stranger” has been a surprise hit for Netflix.

With production and starring Joel Edgerton, the filmmaker acquired the film in Cannes. Now playing online, it has reached number four globally on Netflix and is in the top ten in 54 countries.

The film is based on Kate Kiriakou’s book “The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer” which is a fictional account of the real-life hunt for the killer of a 13-year-old boy who was kidnapped on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Queensland. 2003 and later killed. Brett Peter Cowan, who was finally arrested in 2011, was convicted of the murder after a trial in 2014.

Produced by See-Saw Films, Anonymous Content and Blue Tongue Films, the film takes a completely different trajectory than the real events. He changes names, adds characters and only briefly refers to the actual crime, with no crime scene depictions.

Instead, it focuses on the intense cat-and-mouse game between undercover detective Mark Frame (Edgerton) who befriends suspected killer Henry Teague (Sean Harris) who wins his trust leading to his eventual confession to the crime. Their uneasy friendship is the crux of the plot.

“No one is more surprised than us with success,” Edgerton said. diverse. Edgerton, who selected the book and produced the film South Australia. “We haven’t done the press or the red carpet, but this niche movie is finding a global audience.”

His limited theatrical release in Australia prior to his Netflix debut drew media attention when Morcombe’s parents protested what they felt was an exploitation of their son’s story. “We have decided to respectfully step back from the controversy,” Edgerton said. We wanted to honor the police and focus on the investigation. It’s basically a movie about two men who constantly lie to each other. It’s an exercise in prolonged tension.”

“The Stranger” was recently nominated for 11 AACTA Awards including Best Picture, as well as directing and screenplay for Wright and acting nominations for Edgerton and Harris. Edgerton is promising a campaign for the film during awards season. “Maybe I’d try to lay on a sandwich board and stand on a street corner and say there’s this little movie here that’s exciting and interesting, but it would be great to see this known. It’s a movie that has found its audience word-of-mouth.

Netflix is ​​enjoying success with its latest Australian content. Other hits include the reboot of Chris Hemsworth’s beloved series “Heartbreak High” and “Spiderhead” and the thriller “Interceptor” (#1 worldwide) this year.

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