Picnic at Hanging Rock adaptation ‘will strengthen tourism’

Picnic at Hanging Rock adaptation ‘will strengthen tourism’

The remake of Peter Weir’s 1975 classic Australian film Picnic at Hanging Rock as a six-part TV mini-series won’t be out until next year – but the show’s already got the famous bush site bracing for incoming tourists.

Peter Weir’s film adaptation was made in 1975 and based on Joan Lindsay’s best selling 1967 novel. The story follows three students and a headmistress from a girl’s boarding school who disappear after going for a picnic on Valentines day in 1900.

The new series is being produced by Fremantle Media for Foxtel, and it will be streamed on Amazon in 2018.

Anne Walsh, Hanging Rock Reserve Coordinator, told Hatch: “We screen the original film for an event every year and we still get 500 people attend,” she said.

“It set us on the map. Once the new show comes out, tourism will definitely increase.”

The pay-TV series isn’t the first time the famous novel has been adapted for broadcast media. As well as Peter Weir’s film, Picnic at Hanging Rock has inspired a musical, a play and even a BBC radio show.

Ms Walsh says the mini-series was filmed in April this year, and involved a crew of more than 100 people.

“They wanted to go off main tracks into vegetation as a part of filming so they had to coordinate with the environmental officer to know where they could and couldn’t go,” she said.

“But they were quite respectful.”

Not everyone would be brave enough to attempt to improve on Peter Weir or reproduce a story that’s dear to many Australians, but Ms Walsh says she’s looking forward to seeing the finished product.

“I’m very excited, and I hope they stay reasonably true to the story.”

So what has social media made of the Picnic remake? Here are some of the reactions – or you can wait till it comes out and decide for yourself.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is not the only iconic Australian film getting a reboot.

The 1992 film Romper Stomper will soon be released as a six-part series on Australian streaming site Stan – although the producers’ decision to swap the victims of the story from Asian Australians to Muslim Australians has attracted criticism.

Blue Crush, The Departed and Ghost are also all on their way to series adaptations.

Story by Natalie Maslin.