The Dry: the ‘devastating imagery’ bringing Jane Harper’s bestseller to the big screen

An Eric Bana-starring adaptation drops noir twists into a fly-blown regional Australia, as it buckles under the impacts of climate change

Released in 2016, Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, evoked a sense of sundried desperation and El Niño-inspired unease that felt as familiar to many Australian readers as the book’s genre trappings (its tagline, “a desperate act in a small town with secrets”, could apply to anything from Twin Peaks to Top of the Lake).

The book hadn’t even hit shelves when producer Bruna Papandrea and screenwriter-director Robert Connolly started planning the film. Papandrea is perhaps best known today for adapting Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies for HBO, which swapped Sydney’s northern beaches for affluent, coastal California – but there was no separating The Dry from its western Victorian backdrop.

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