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'Force of Nature: The Dry 2' Will Bring Its Mysteries to Cinemas Down Under in August

Focusing on a disappearance in Victoria's mountain ranges, this eagerly awaited sequel sees Eric Bana return as Aaron Falk.
By Sarah Ward
March 21, 2023
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By Sarah Ward
March 21, 2023
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Some films were always going to grace screens, and The Dry was one of them, all thanks to the huge on-the-page success of Jane Harper's beloved novel of the same name. That 2021 big-screen release's sequel, which is now called Force of Nature: The Dry 2, is another. The first movie was such a hit — notching up more than $20 million in Australian ticket sales, and coming in sixth at the Aussie box office two years back after Hollywood franchise titles Spider-Man: No Way Home, No Time to Die, Godzilla vs Kong, Peter Rabbit 2 and Fast and Furious 9 — that greenlighting this sequel must've been the easiest decision ever.

In 2022, news arrived that The Dry would indeed score a big-screen follow-up, as based on Harper's second novel Force of Nature. Then it was revealed that the film would release in 2023, instantly becoming one of this year's most-anticipated flicks. Now, Roadshow Films — which is behind the movie, and will distribute it in Australia and New Zealand — has unveiled an exact release date.

Mark August 24 in your diary: that's when you have a return movie date with Eric Bana (Dirty John) as Detective Aaron Falk. Actually, given that timing, you might just be able to see the film at the 2023 Sydney Film Festival or Melbourne International Film Festival. This chapter is set in Victoria, so it'd make a nice opening- or closing-night pick at MIFF in particular.

In Force of Nature: The Dry 2, the focus is on a corporate hiking retreat attended by five women, after which only four return. So, alongside fellow federal agent Carmen Cooper (Jacqueline McKenzie, Ruby's Choice), Falk heads deep into Victoria's mountain ranges to try to find the missing hiker — who also happens to be a whistle-blowing informant — alive.

The Dry

As The Dry was, Force of Nature is written and directed by Robert Connolly (Blueback). Again, it boasts quite the pair when it comes to Aussie crime cinema — with Connolly the producer of one of the best local crime movies ever made, aka 1998's unnerving The Boys, and Bana famously the star of the similarly excellent Chopper.

"Adapting Jane Harper's remarkable Force of Nature for the cinema has been an exciting adventure, a rare privilege to be able to revisit the world of detective Aaron Falk and to work again with Eric, an extraordinary supporting cast and a wonderful team of creatives and crew," said Connolly.

"Jane's novels evoke the often-terrifying beauty of the natural world, and in this sequel to The Dry we take audiences into a new landscape to solve entwining crimes in the remote Australian wilderness."

The Dry

Also featuring in Force of Nature, which has a powerhouse Aussie cast like its predecessor: Anna Torv (The Last of Us) as missing hiker Alice Russell, plus Deborra-Lee Furness (Jindabyne), Robin McLeavy (Homeland), Sisi Stringer (Mortal Kombat) and Lucy Ansell (Utopia). Richard Roxburgh (Elvis), Tony Briggs (Preppers) and Kenneth Radley (The Power of the Dog) pop up, too, while Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor (Heartbreak High) is back in the role of Erik Falk.

Although there are now two images from the film to check out — see the header picture at the very top of this article, then the first among the text — it's still too early for even a teaser clip. Until one arrives, revisit the trailer for The Dry below:

Force of Nature will release in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on August 24, 2023. Read our full review of The Dry.

Force of Nature images: Narelle Portanier.

Published on March 21, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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