Ever since The Sopranos ushered in a new age of cinema quality television on HBO, various networks have attempted to capture some of the magic with an organized crime drama of their own. Very few have been successful (particularly not on network TV), but Showtime just might have a shot with their upcoming series based on the critically acclaimed Australian crime movie Animal Kingdom. The series in currently in development with John Wells (ER, The West Wing) on board as executive producer and Jonathan Lisco (Southland, NYPD Blue) writing and producing. The original film’s director David Michôd will also take on the role of executive producer.
Animal Kingdom was based on Melbourne’s Pettingill crime family, who were essentially at war with police throughout the ’80s, culminating in the 1988 Walsh Street police shootings. The family is led by their mother, Kath Pettingill, a former prostitute and drug dealer. Jacki Weaver received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Janine “Smurf” Cody, a similar family matriarch in Animal Kingdom.
It’s unclear if the basic story and structure of the TV series will remain the same, with the audience being introduced to the family through Cody’s 17-year-old grandson, who is invited to live with them after his mother dies of a heroin overdose. Either way, there is a big draw to true crime stories, and there is something compelling about watching a family of criminals struggle to maintain relationships with each other despite their obvious lack of morals. Would you be interested in watching Animal Kingdom: The Series?