Rachel Griffiths and Mandy McElhinney have been cast in the follow up to Paper Giants: the Birth of Cleo, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars.
Griffiths will play Dulcie Boling, editor of New Idea with McElhinney playing Nene King, Boling’s former deputy editor and the new editor of Packer’s Women’s Day.
The story follows the rivalry of the women as a battle between the magazines give rise to celebrities, gossip and chequebook journalism. As the press release reads: “It’s 1987. Hair is big. Shoulder pads are wide. The Royals are still a family.”
Produced by Southern Star’s Mimi Butler and John Edwards, the series will see the return of Rob Carlton as Kerry Packer. Carlton won a Logie for his portrayal of the late ACP boss in Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
Written by Justin Monjo and Keith Thompson, the series will be directed by Daina Reid, who directed The Birth of Cleo and episodes of Offspring, also a Southern Star production. Shooting is due to start in Melbourne on Monday 13 August.
Butler said: “We’re very excited to have Rachel and Mandy playing these formidable women, Dulcie Boling and Nene King. It’s been a dream story to work on, the drama’s all there – it’s quite Shakespearian. Set in the kingdoms of Packer and Murdoch; there’s rivalry and rebellion, love and tragedy, and great victories along the way – all taking place amid the decadence and rock and roll of the 80s and 90s.”
Carole Sklan, ABC TV’s head of fiction said: “From an outstanding creative team and an exciting cast, Paper Giants: Magazine Wars brings to life two fascinating women and the rivalry that transformed publishing. This remarkable story anticipates the current controversy over the role of the media in the private lives of celebrities.”
The cast also includes Angus Sampson, Lucy Bell, Khan Chittenden, Caren Pistorius.
Southern Star has also produced Nine’s Howzat! mini-series due to premiere after the Olympics, about Packer’s creation of the International One Day Cricket series. McElhinney will play Packer’s secretary with Lachie Hulme playing Kerry Packer.