Foxtel this week announced season 8 of critically acclaimed Australian drama Wentworth has commenced production with three heritage characters from the original Prisoner series entering the compound.￼ Fans were left reeling at the end of season 7 after the death of two much loved inmates and the staggering reveal that Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson is very much alive.
When Wentworth returns in 2020, the prison community is still reeling from the aftermath of the bloody siege with a new leader at the helm. New characters joining the impressive ensemble of actors include Kate Box (Upright, Les Norton, Rake) as former top dog of Wentworth, Lou Kelly with a reputation for impulsive brutality; Zoe Terakes (Janet King, The End) as Rebel ‘Reb’ Keane a man trapped inside a woman’s skin and Jane Hall (Neighbours, House Husbands) as the new General Manager, Ann Reynolds who charms her colleagues but treats her prisoners with hard line prejudice.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh said: “Wentworth has been the shining star of Foxtel’s extensive slate of Australian dramas and we are very proud to call “action” on the new season. We are indebted to the remarkable creative talent involved and to showcase the outstanding line-up of actors who bring to life this compelling series.”
“Since its debut in 2013 Wentworth boasts a large and loyal worldwide following and continually attracts some of the country’s finest actors and production creatives, we are thrilled to welcome Kate, Jane and Zoe on board.”
Fremantle Director of Scripted and WentworthExecutive Producer, Jo Porter said: “Some 12 months after we wrapped series 7 it was more than a little bit exciting to see the gates of Wentworth spring open and reveal not only our beloved cast but some new faces join our incredible ensemble of acting talent. We are all so proud of the calibre of actors this production has always been able to attract – and post the first read through it was clear Kate, Jane and Zoe are already comfortable in the skin of their new roles.
“Marcia Gardiner and her team of writers have shaped another exhilarating season and introduced some compelling characters that continue to draw on the legacy of Prisoner while shaping the women to reflect a contemporary Australia. Together with Pino Amenta, Marcia and our incredible writers directors, cast and crew we can’t wait to get started.”
Returning cast are: Pamela Rabe (Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson), Kate Atkinson (Vera Bennett), Leah Purcell (Rita Connors), Susie Porter (Marie Winter), Kate Jenkinson (Allie Novak), Rarriwuy Hick (Ruby Mitchell), Katrina Milosevic (Sue ‘Boomer’ Jenkins), Robbie Magasiva (Will Jackson), Bernard Curry (Jake Stewart) and support cast Jacquie Brennan (Linda Miles) and David de Loutour (Dr. Greg Miller).
Wentworth is a Fremantle production for Foxtel withFremantle Director of Scripted, Jo Porter and Foxtel’s Senior Drama Consultant, Penny Win as executive producers. Pino Amenta is series producer for season eight. The directors are Kevin Carlin, Beck Cole, Fiona Banks, Corrie Chen, Roger Hodgman and Mat King. The writers are John Ridley, Kim Wilson, Peter McTighe, Max Conroy and Marcia Gardner, who is both script producer and writer. Season 8 is supported by funding from Film Victoria.
Wentworth boast numerous awards and nominations locally and internationally including two consecutive year TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Drama and nominated for 2019 AACTA Awards for Best Drama Series (Season 7).
Wentworth is distributed by Fremantle International and has been sold to 158 international territories. Wentworth returns in 2020.