Australian actress Rachel Griffiths will play former prime minister Julia Gillard in a new Australian television drama.
Melbourne production company WTFN has acquired the film and television rights to Kerry-Anne Walsh’s book The Stalking of Julia Gillard and says Griffiths has signed to play the lead role.
Richard Keddie, whose previous credits include the TV bio-dramas Hawke and Curtin, will produce the feature-length drama.
Walsh’s book tells of the rise and fall of Australia’s first female prime minister, examining the role the media played in her downfall as well as the political resurrection of Kevin Rudd.
The project represents WTFN’s first major foray into drama after acquiring Keddie’s production house, The Film Company, earlier this year.
Griffiths, who won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Brenda Chenowith in the hit US television show Six Feet Under, says she is looking forward to playing Ms Gillard.
“I am thrilled to portray Australia’s first female prime minister and explore the private aspects of her remarkable term,” the actress said in a statement.
“I believe that the creative and intellectual capacity of the team involved will produce a stunning drama that will reframe this historic period in our cultural and political life.”
Keddie, who has also directed political advertisements featuring Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd, describes the Rudd-Gillard Labor leadership tussle as “an incredible contemporary Australian story”.
“It’s a fascinating study of the 24/7 news cycle and what you will find is Kevin Rudd was a genius of the 24/7 news cycle,” he said.
The show is expected to screen on Australian TV in 2015.