Carole Baskin series starring Kate McKinnon to be produced in Queensland

The production will be partially funded by the Australian Government

Three television series, including a previously-announced show focused on Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, have been given a combined $19.5million from the Federal Government to be produced in Australia.

One series, Joe Exotic, is based on the Wondery podcast of the same name, hosted by Robert Moor. Announced earlier this year, the series will focus on Exotic’s rival Carole Baskin, played by Kate McKinnon, and her mission to close down Exotic’s venture.

The other productions are Young Rock, a comedy from Nahnatchka Khan and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, inspired by the actor’s life, and Irreverent, a series about a New York criminal who hides out in a Far North Queensland reef town, posing as a church reverend.

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All projects will run in locations across Queensland and led by Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, part of NBCUniversal International Studios. It is estimated the three productions will provide more than 1,000 jobs for Australian cast and crew, in addition to 2,000 extras.

“Australia’s production sector is world-class so it’s no surprise that we’re attracting the attention of international studios that are choosing to film their next hit TV shows here,” Arts Minister Paul Fletcher said in a statement.

“The productions will provide invaluable opportunities for Australian cast and crew, create a pipeline of work for local post-production, digital and visual effects businesses, and engage workers in sectors such as construction, transport, accommodation and hospitality.”

The $19.5million backing is part of the $400million fund, announced by the government in July, which aims to incentivise overseas companies to produce films and TV series in Australia.

In related news, production on Baz Luhrmann’s biopic of Elvis Presley has resumed in Queensland after Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 and production came to a halt.

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