‘Australian film and television never been stronger’: Boy Swallows Universe’s Travis Fimmel on next role

Black Snow official trailer

Source: Stan

Australian actor and star of Boy Swallows Universe Travis Fimmel has spoken about the current state of the major streaming platforms and their reach as he starts work on another project in Queensland.

With more than 2.6 million subscribers, and the fourth-largest streaming service in Australia, Stan has commissioned a second series of his crime thriller Black Snow, as the top five streamers prepare to adhere to new content quotas, to be introduced into legislation no later than July 1.

His lead role in Trent Dalton’s adaptation of Netflix’s Boy Swallows Universe attracted a viewing audience of 3.6 million in its first seven days from January 11, making it the fifth most-watched show globally.

Well known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings, Fimmel also had a role in the Sean Penn-produced Stan original, C*A*U*G*H*T in September.

He’s reprising his role of Detective James Cormack as production starts on the Black Snow sequel series in some of his favourite locations in Queensland.

They include Proserpine and nearby Airlie Beach.

“I think Australian film and television has never been stronger,’’ said the 44-year-old, who grew up on a 2225-hectare farm in Echuca in country Victoria before venturing to Hollywood to find fame and fortune.

“Now, with the addition of streaming networks and their reach, I’m so proud that our local productions and their hard work can be recognised not only here, but around the world.’’

He’s excited to be making another season of Black Snow and “showing off” what Australia has to offer.

“That, and I’m happy to have free food and a job.”

‘Utterly compelling’

In the first series of Black Snow, which premiered in 2022, Fimmel played a detective who investigates the cold-case murder of 17-year-old Isabel Baker in 1995.

The crime shocked the small town of Ashford and devastated Baker’s Australian South Sea Islander community.

The case was never solved, the killer never found.

But in 2020, the opening of a time capsule unearthed a secret that put him on the trail of the killer.

Now, Fimmel reprises his role and is back in the Whitsundays region of Queensland filming another new six-part series (you can stream the first series on Stan).

There’s a bunch of new cast members including Jana McKinnon (Bad Behaviour), Megan Smart (Class of ‘07), Alana Mansour (Hardball), Dan Spielman (Bad Behaviour, The Newsreader), Victoria Haralabidou (The Tourist) and Kat Stewart (Offspring).

After the success of the series, Fimmel (Vikings, Raised by Wolves) was asked by The Sydney Morning Herald how he found his way into the character of Cormack.

“I’m not too much of a lofty actor like that to have a ‘way in’. What intrigued me about him is that he’s a very flawed character,’’ he said in late 2022.

“He’s got a lot of issues, childhood issues that he’s still dealing with, parental figures, and I think that’s the reason he became a cold-case detective.”

Jana McKinnon in a shot from season two: Kimmel has said Black Snow is a ‘real whodunit sort of story’. Photo: Stan

In the second season set in the Glasshouse Mountains, we see Cormack tackle two separate missing persons cases.

One is professional, as he investigates the disappearance of Zoe Jacobs (McKinnon), who disappeared from her 21st birthday party in 2003.

And the other is personal, as Cormack searches desperately for his younger brother, who went missing when they were children.

“The audience response in Australia and around the world to series one was incredible,” executive producer Rosemary Blight (The Invisible Man) said.

” … [and] Travis Fimmel … is once again utterly compelling in the role of Cormack.”

Black Snow adds to Screen Queensland’s growing list of locally produced film and TV series, as it prepares to open the highly anticipated studio hub in Cairns.

SQ boss Jacqui Feeney says the series “is infused with the unique communities and landscapes of the Sunshine State and is also providing vital career paths for emerging Queensland creatives and crew through our attachment program”.

The first season of Black Snow was nominated for most outstanding drama series at last year’s Logie Awards.

In February, it received two nominations at the 2024 AACTA Awards for best drama series and best actor in a drama for Fimmel.

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