After premiering in Australia earlier this year, the six-part Wolf Creek event series is coming to US shores on October 14th courtesy of Pop TV. Ahead of the series' US premiere tomorrow night at 10:00pm ET, Daily Dead talked with executive producer / director Greg McLean and stars Lucy Fry and John Jarratt about setting a gritty revenge tale in the unforgiving landscape of Mick Taylor's world.

The Wolf Creek series, as opposed to the films, has more of a Western feel to it. Was that a direction that you consciously wanted to take this story?

Greg McLean: Definitely. John Jarratt described it as Unforgiven with a female hero playing the Clint Eastwood character. It certainly does fit into the Western revenge model in a very similar way, where a young woman's family is killed and she goes after the villain to try and track him down and make him pay for what he's done. It's kind of a classic Western story. The fact that we have an incredibly evil serial killer as the one who did the killing makes it all the more interesting, because she has to learn and get the skills together to go and deal with this guy. It has those Western elements, but ultimately the series really is much more of a suspense thriller. That's the genre. Obviously, there are some horror elements as well, and we take the visual style and certain aspects of the movies, but really at heart it's a suspense thriller.

Lucy, before your character even encounters Mick Taylor, she's going through her own struggles with addiction and dropping out of Olympic training. What was it like to step into that role and portray her struggles right off the bat?

Lucy Fry: Since I first read the scripts and talked to Greg about it, I was just so excited to get to do that, to go into such a complex character is a real treat for an actor, especially someone who's quite young and going through such an inner battle. That was what I was really drilled to take on. I also knew that it was a huge responsibility to take that on and that I would really have to commit to it and be 100% in it if I was going to be able to pull it off. Yeah, it was really brilliant.

I had to do a lot of work to get into that headspace because it's very different from how I would operate in everyday life. I was doing physical training and weights and getting physically fit in order to become strong enough to play that. I suppose she's unresolved in the beginning, but she's going through the drug addiction and issues with the family. Then once they're killed, she has to find a way, a reason to live, really. Because she doesn't have much to live for after that happened. It's not good to start off with and then it gets worse. But Greg and I were saying that her family being killed was almost a chance to find herself, because she's not together at the beginning. Then once that happens, even though it's so twisted, it's kind of like her coming into who she's capable of being, who she really is.

John, what was it like for you to step back into Mick Taylor's boots in a TV series as opposed to a feature film? This time, you got to explore that character a bit more with six episodes as opposed to one film. Was that interesting for you to dig into him a bit more?

John Jarratt: I don't see it that way. The story does that and the reflections on his life—things that happen throughout the series. Mick is a very straightforward, very shallow human being. If I did any more with Mick in a TV series, I would be lying to the character. He is what he is. The only difference between the films and the TV series is the TV series is going to be episodic, and we found a great vehicle in Lucy to do that, because she's on a journey, a revenge journey. It was her journey. But Mick's not a journey, he's just doing what he does every day. She's on the journey, so when we shoot a scene it's no different than when we shoot a movie scene to a television scene. It's exactly the same. Clapboard goes in. You do the lines and the scene work and I play Mick in exactly the same way as I played him since the first film.

Greg McLean: Mick's just a force of nature. He has no arc, basically. In the same way that a great white shark has no arc. It does a few things. It eats and they still have little sharks. Mick just does a few things and he doesn't reflect on those things very much.

John Jarratt: There's no empathy there. There's no difference [to Mick] between shooting a kangaroo and a human being. Bang. Doesn't think about their past lives, whether the kangaroo is the greatest jumper in the pack or anything.

With Lucy's character, Eve, Mick has run across someone who might be the most worthy adversary he's ever encountered. Do you think Mick has underestimated his prey this time?

John Jarratt: That's his downfall. Here's this young, tall, skinny, blonde kid who can shoot. He just lets his guard down completely because he just doesn't see any problems here whatsoever. It's a bit of a shock and he lets his guard down a little. He thinks it was probably one of the easiest gigs in adversity he's ever come across.

Lucy, with The Darkness and 11/22/63 and now Wolf Creek, you've really been able to have quite a presence in the horror genre. Is there anything in particular about these types of stories that are appealing to you, or has have they just been the opportunities that have come up?

Lucy Fry: What is really appealing to me about it is I'm such a scaredy-cat. I'm really terrified of the horror genre, so it gives me a chance to really go into that and make something that I would normally be really afraid of, and face my fears and then overcome it. I've been surprised that most of the time, [films in] the horror genre are the most fun to make. It's almost like a Halloween party, especially on The Darkness, because it was so dark every day and it was the real horror instead of psychological thriller, that would feel like really playful because you're dealing with such dark stuff. It was the same in Wolf Creek, that you'd have to try and be quite polite in order to deal with the material. But now I really love making horror and thrillers and that kind of darker material. It's really fun.

Greg, with shows like Ash vs Evil Dead, we've seen that you can take horror movies and successfully transition them to the TV format. What was the most appealing or rewarding thing about taking the Wolf Creek story and bringing it to a TV format versus a feature film this time around?

Greg McLean: If you want to keep a franchise going, you have to constantly be reinventing it. You have to be telling the story with the same elements, but a different kind of story. The first film is very much a particular kind of story. The second film is a completely different kind of story and style of story. It's a chase film. This is a completely different style of story. This is a revenge thriller.

It's important to take the familiar elements that make it interesting, which is Mick, the main character, the landscape, and all the other elements around that that were great in the first movies, but then really challenge ourselves and interest the audience by saying, "It's the things that you're familiar with, but it's been completely flipped around." For example, one of the big thrills was having a female hero. Because obviously, the genre is traditionally female victims get hunted down and killed by bad guys. We're taking a film that takes place in that genre and flipping it on its head by having a female hero who's going after the bad guy. She's literally hunting him down. It's just a really compelling and cool idea. It makes it much more entertaining for us to do because we're constantly developing it. We're challenging ourselves about keeping it interesting and original, because we're constantly developing it. We're challenging ourselves about keeping it interesting and original.

John Jarratt: It's not easy making it interesting or original, because basically, it's about this bloat who goes out and kills tourists, does away with them, and then goes back out again and kills some more tourists, does away with them, then goes out and kills some tourists and does away with them. That's basically the guy that we've got to make interesting every time.

Greg McLean: The series is about a whole other set of ideas that are expressed through the character of Lucy, in the sense of, what is the nature of revenge? Is revenge ever justified? If you kill, even if it's for a just reason, does that make you evil? Do you become like the killer if you do what he does? Does that make you as bad as he is? There's got to be a thematic idea to mine in a story, otherwise it's really not worth telling.

In the series, you have a whole creative team of writers and directors helping to create Mick Taylor's story. What was it like to bring new people in, in addition to yourselves, and tell a new tale in Mick Taylor's world?

John Jarratt: When Greg rang me and asked me about it, I just couldn't imagine how they would make a television series out of it. I couldn't see how they were going to do that. Then Greg and these very seasoned television writers, who write great drama in Australia, got together and came up with the perfect solution, which was that it wasn't Mick's story at all. It was Lucy's character's story. She's the star of the show. It was a revenge thing, and it worked exceptionally well set right in there where it was supposed to be, in Mick Taylor country.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.