Markus Zusak novel "The Messenger" to be adapted for the ABC in Australia

Produced by Lingo Pictures with major production investment from Screen Australia, the series starring by William McKenna is globally distributed by All3Media International.


"The Messenger"


Lingo Pictures will begin in Sydney the production of "The Messenger", an 8 x 60-minute uplifting drama series based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel of the same name. With major production investment from Screen Australia, and distributed by All3Media International, the series reinforces ABC’s commitment as the home of quality Australian drama that is reflective of contemporary Australia.

ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment and Indigenous Sally Riley says: “We are thrilled to be collaborating for the first time with the incredibly talented team at Lingo Pictures on this feel-good and intriguing series. Highlighting the importance and impact of human kindness, we look forward to sharing this captivating series with our audience next year.”

The series will star Helpmann Award winner William McKenna ("Nowhere Boys"), alongside Australian icon Maggie Dence ("Rake, Wonderland"), Alexandra Jensen ("Frayed"), Chris Alosio ("Troppo") and actor, singer and songwriter Kartanya Maynard ("Deadloch") and will be air on ABC TV and ABC iview in 2023.

The Lingo Pictures’ production reunites the AACTA award-winning creative team behind the series "Lambs of God", with the writing team lead by Sarah Lambert ("The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart") and producers Jason Stephens ("Upright") from Lingo Pictures and Elisa Argenzio ("Fires"). Helen Bowden, Markus Zusak, Mika Zusak, Sarah Lambert and Daniel Nettheim are Executive Producers, along with Sally Riley and Rebecca Anderson from ABC. Daniel Nettheim ("The Tourist") is set-up director and Helena Brooks ("Wellmania") and Jennifer Leacey ("The Secrets She Keeps") will also direct.

The series follows Ed Kennedy who is just another stupid human, until one day he isn’t. That day, he stops an armed robbery and becomes an accidental hero. The next day, he starts getting messages... Four playing cards – the ace of diamonds, clubs, spades and hearts. Each with their own set of tasks. Ed has been chosen to care. He stumbles this mysterious path, helping and hurting, completing the cards, until he comes to see the real message has been for him.

“This story is a tale of untapped potential that reminds us we are each in our own way remarkable. It’s about friendship and trying and falling down. It’s about unrequited love, bravery and getting back up. It’s about family and chosen family, but most of all it’s about the way small acts of kindness have huge ripples. 'The Messenger' allows us to step into a world where human kindness and connection are the heroes,” says producer Jason Stephens.

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon says, “We’re delighted to support this enchanting story from prolific Australian writer Markus Zusak brought to life on screen by the award-winning team at Lingo Pictures together with some of Australia’s best screenwriters. 'The Messenger' promises to enthral audiences young and old with its poignant and redemptive tale of what it is to be human.”

Highlighting the importance and impact of human kindness, we look forward to sharing this captivating series with our audience next year” Sally Riley ABC Head of Drama, Entertainment and Indigenou

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