'The Dry' Sequel 'Force of Nature' Just Became Your Most-Anticipated New Australian Film of 2023

Eric Bana is back as Aaron Falk in this follow-up to 2021's huge homegrown hit, this time investigating a disappearance in Victoria's mountain ranges.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 12, 2022

What's better than knowing that one of the biggest Australian movies of the past couple of years is getting a sequel? Adding that second effort to your must-watch pile for 2023. It's been four months since it was revealed that The Dry was scoring a big-screen follow-up, and it's now been confirmed that it'll start flickering across the big screen sometime next year.

Exactly when in 2023 that Force of Nature will surface is yet to be revealed — but add it to your future cinema-going list anyway. And yes, to answer the crucial question, Eric Bana is returning as Detective Aaron Falk.

The Dry

When it reached Aussie cinemas at the beginning of 2021 — making the leap from bookshelves to theatres, adapting the debut novel from author Jane Harper — The Dry became an enormous success. If you went to the movies at the start of last year, you likely saw it. It currently sits sixth at the box office among local titles over the past ten years, notching up more than $20 million in ticket sales. It also came in sixth in 2021 overall, after Spider-Man: No Way Home, No Time to Die, Godzilla vs Kong, Peter Rabbit 2 and Fast and Furious 9.

That kind of response was always likely to spark a sequel (and it shouldn't escape attention that the five movies that made more cash in Australia last year were all either sequels themselves, or part of long-running franchises). Cue this new adaptation of Harper's second novel Force of Nature.

This time, 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 being written and directed by Robert Connolly (Paper Planes). Again, it'll boast 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.

Also featuring in Force of Nature, which'll have a powerhouse Aussie cast like its predecessor: Anna Torv (Mindhunter) 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), too, while Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor (Sequin in a Blue Room) is back in the role of Erik Falk.

Although the first image from the film has been released — see the header picture at the very top of this article — it's still too early for even a teaser clip. Until one arrives, check out the trailer for The Dry below:

Force of Nature will release in Australian cinemas in 2023 — we'll update you when an exact release date is announced. Read our full review of The Dry.

Published on September 12, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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