Neighbours trailer reveals return of Hollywood star Guy Pearce

Some new stars, some old familiar faces, some new storylines and a wedding with a twist.

Some new stars, some old familiar faces, some new storylines and a wedding with a twist. Photo: Prime Video

During the hyped finale of Australian soap Neighbours last year, Mike Young – played by Hollywood actor Guy Pearce – rides into the fictitious town of Erinsborough on a motorbike, and rekindles his love with old flame Jane.

Played by long-time Neighbours actor Annie Jones, the couple buy a house in Ramsay Street, and after 37 years of the show, that was how it was all supposed to end happily ever after on July 28 after 8903 episodes.

When Amazon FreeVee picked up the co-production rights to the show for a reboot in September, top of the list was how to bring back the LA Confidential and Jack Irish star … and here he is, kissing Jane by a lake in a teaser trailer before the Ten premiere next month.

‘There may be a little appearance or two’

In a May podcast with Good Weekend Talks, Pearce, 55, shared details of the Neighbours reboot and the continuation of the long-running series about the lives and loves of those who live in Ramsay Street.

“Annie and I called each other, ‘What do we do now, because we’re living in the street?’” Pearce said.

“And she said, ‘Well I’m alright because I’m on the show anyway, but what are you going to do?’ … I said, ‘I don’t know’. So we’re in the process of working it out.”

The Australian actor, whose career started on the TV soap in 1986, has gone on to enjoy four decades of film and television, and most recently appeared in the Disney+ thriller based on the true story of a Victorian cult, The Clearing.

“Obviously, if I’m going to extricate myself from the show, I want to do it respectfully.

“I wasn’t just gonna go, ‘Well, bad luck. You had your chance, that was it,’ you know.

“So there may be a little appearance or two, shall we say.”

And the fans were right, commenting on his brief appearance in a flannelette shirt and blue wool scarf.

“Why do I have a bad feeling about Jane and Mike?” asked one.

“Because he is only in it for a short time. How can you expect a huge Hollywood movie star to go back to a soap he started in over 30 years ago?”

Quite right.

Mischa Barton. Photo: Prime Video

Mischa’s ‘instant presence’

Meanwhile, we also get the first glimpses of The O.C. star, British-born US actor Mischa Barton.

She has been been cast as a mysterious American woman called Reece.

“I think the character of Reece is going to be a great role for me to explore and play with,” Barton said, when she scored the role.

Neighbours executive producer Jason Herbison said “[the character] is dynamic and unpredictable, and will have an instant presence on Ramsay Street”.

“We are beyond excited to have an actor of Mischa’s calibre join us for the beginning of this exciting new chapter,” Herbison said.

Both Barton and Pearce join the faces we’ve all come to know including Alan Fletcher, Jackie Woodburne, Stefan Dennis, Ryan Moloney, Rebekah Elmaloglou and Georgie Stone.

The Varga-Murphy family: Marley Williams (Dex), Sara West (Cara), Riley Bryant (JJ) and Naomi Rukavina (Remi). Photo: Prime Video

Twists and turns

There’s also “the wedding of the year … with a jaw-dropping twist”, according to Ten, and the introduction of an LGBTQIA family.

“Hailing from the other side of the city, the Varga-Murphy family initially take up residence temporarily, and it quickly becomes evident there is more to their arrival than meets the eye,” reads the official logline.

“Wives Cara and Remi, played by Sara West (Don’t Tell, Wakefield, Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door) and Naomi Rukavina (Harry Potter Theatre Production, Run Rabbit Run, Pawno), and sons JJ, played by Riley Bryant (Surviving Summer 2) and Dex, played by newcomer Marley Williams in his first television role – make up the Varga-Murphy family.

Cara has a bold, impassioned love for her family and I love that her intentions have, so far, always been good. I hope having the Varga-Murphys on telly will help better reflect the beautiful LGBTQIA+ community that I’m proud to be a part of, and I can’t wait to share the family with you!” West said.

April Rose Pengilly and Jodi Gordon resume their roles as the couple Chloe Brennan and Elly Conway – known as Chelly – in 2019, when their relationship hit the ground running on the eve of Elly’s wedding to Chloe’s brother, Mark.

The Nunawading studios are again abuzz with lights, cameras and 450 staff. Photo: Prime Video

Production started again on April 17, when the doors officially reopened on the Neighbours set as 450 cast, crew and associated businesses got back on the tools for the next instalment of the revitalised series.

The announcement was shared by the cast during the final show of Neighbours – The Celebration Tour at the London Palladium.

“Not even the Neighbours’ writing team, as clever as they are, could have plotted a comeback storyline like this,” Dennis said.

“To be here filming this next chapter, we’ve proven again that this show is never predictable and always full of surprises. It’s fantastic for our loyal fans and for the local television industry, and I can’t wait to let Paul Robinson loose again on Ramsay Street,” he said.

Neighbours premieres on Monday, September 18 on Ten at 4.30pm, followed by 6.30pm on 10Peach and 10Play, and on September 25 on Prime Video

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