The Full Trailer for Netflix's Adaptation of Trent Dalton's 'Boy Swallows Universe' Is Here

Featuring Simon Baker, Anthony LaPaglia, Travis Fimmel, Phoebe Tonkin, Bryan Brown and Deborah Mailman, the page-to-screen series starts streaming in January.
Sarah Ward
November 27, 2023

1980s Brisbane is coming to your streaming queue, and one of Australia's iconic novels along with it. It's been four years since Harper Collins sold the television rights to Boy Swallows Universe in 2019, then a year since Netflix announced its involvement in bringing the tale to the screen in 2022. Now, when 2024 hits, the wait to see what Trent Dalton's beloved award-winner looks like as a streaming series will be over.

Boy Swallows Universe has won a swag of awards, including the Book of the Year, Literary Book of the Year and Audio Book of the Year at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards — and was longlisted for Australia's most prestigious literature prize, the Miles Franklin. It sold a heap of copies and been turned into a play. The Brisbane-set story trod those boards in Brissie, too, and now it's a Netflix series that was shot in the River City.

After releasing behind-the-scenes glimpses of the production, initially advising that it would arrive in 2023 and dropping a first teaser trailer, the TV adaptation has now locked in its release date and unveiled its full sneak peek. First, mark Thursday, January 11, 2024 in your diary. Then, check out what's in store for this coming-of-age story on-screen via the new trailer.

Dalton's novel and now the television show that follows spin a tale about a young boy, his prophetic brother and his jailbreaking best friend as they navigate the heroin-filled underworld of 80s Queensland. Also included: Eli Bell's (Felix Cameron, Penguin Bloom) attempt to understand how to be a good person, with his plight spanning a lost father, a criminal for a babysitter, a mum recovering from addiction, a mute brother, a stepfather who deals and a red telephone.

Netflix's Boy Swallows Universe adaptation features eight episodes, running as a self-contained limited series, as it plunges into the space between childhood's magic and adulthood's reality. Travis Fimmel (Black Snow) also stars as Lyle Orlik, while the cast includes Simon Baker (Limbo) as Robert Bell and Phoebe Tonkin (Babylon) as Frances Bell — plus Lee Tiger Halley (The Heights) as Gus Bell.

Also appearing: Bryan Brown (Hungry Ghosts) as Slim Halliday, Anthony LaPaglia (Nitram) as Tytus Broz, and Sophie Wilde (Talk to Me) as Caitlyn Spies, plus Christopher James Baker (Ozark) as Ivan Kroll, HaiHa Le (Spooky Files) as Bich Dang and Deborah Mailman (The New Boy) as Poppy Birkbeck. And, you'll see Ben O'Toole (Barons) as Teddy, Zachary Wan (Never Too Late) as Darren Dang, and Millie Donaldson (Jack Irish) and Eloise Rothfield as Shelley Huffman (aged 17 and 13, respectively).

Boy Swallows Universe is directed by Bharat Nalluri (The Man Who Invented Christmas), Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker) and Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket), and scripted by screenwriter John Collee (Master and Commander, Happy Feet, Hotel Mumbai).

The impressive names involved extend to the show's executive producers, too, which include Joel Edgerton (The Stranger), Troy Lum (The Water Diviner, Saving Mr Banks, Mao's Last Dancer), Andrew Mason (The Matrix, The Water Diviner), Sophie Gardiner (Howard's End, Chimerica) and Kerry Roberts (Foe, Boy Erased).

Check out the full trailer for Boy Swallows Universe below:

Boy Swallows Universe will stream via Netflix from Thursday, January 11, 2024.

Images: courtesy of Netflix © 2023.

Published on November 27, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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