Yvonne Strahovski has moved on from Gilead and into other type of captivity in the first look at Stateless, an Australian six-part refugee drama series coming to Netflix on July 8.
The Handmaid’s Tale star plays an airline hostess on the run from a dangerous cult who becomes one of four strangers meeting at an immigration detention center in the middle of the Australian desert, along with an Afghan refugee and his family fleeing persecution, a young father escaping a dead-end job and a bureaucrat running out of time to contain a national scandal. Cate Blanchett, one of the show’s creators, also stars, along with Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi, Dominic West and Soraya Heidari.
In the trailer, released Wednesday, Blanchett and West can be seen as cult leader Strahovski flees before she’s listed as a missing person and winds up at the detention center as her sister searches for her on the outside. Courtney appears as an officer getting physical with immigrants inside the center as reporters get wind of Strahovski‘s presence and she is pushed to use her privilege for good: “People will be very interested in you. They will want to know why someone who looks just like them is trapped in a place like this,” says one of her fellow detainees as images flash of police in riot gear and Strahovski running across the desert.
Netflix picked up worldwide rights to the series just head of its Berlin International Film Festival premiere in February; it premiered on ABC in Australia on March 1. Five years in the making, it was initially inspired by Cornelia Rau, a German citizen and permanent resident of Australia who was unlawfully detained in 2004, and was created by Blanchett, Elise McCredie and Tony Ayres and produced by Matchbox Pictures and Blanchett and Andrew Upton‘s Dirty Films for the ABC.
“Stateless has been a labor of love for many years and we could not be more thrilled that it will reach an international audience via Netflix,” Blanchett, McCredie and Ayres said in a statement. “The issues addressed in the series have universal resonance but have been cloaked in silence and muddied by fear and misinformation. Our hope is that Stateless will generate a global conversation around our systems of border protection and how our humanity has been affected by them.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the Berlin Film Fest, Blanchett said that now, living outside of Australia, “I’m deeply proud of so many things about what Australia has achieved and what it stands for, but when you hear the rhetoric that is born out of the Australian immigration policy being touted in Europe and in America to justify xenophobic policymaking, I do feel great shame and sadness,” adding that despite its five-year production schedule, “something that you would hope will become less and less relevant, as the months pass, becomes more relevant.”
The series is written by McCredie and Belinda Chayko and is directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse. It is produced by Sheila Jayadev and Paul Ranford for Matchbox Pictures with Blanchett, Upton and Ayres as exec producers. McCredie and Liz Watts also serve as executive producers. ABC executive producers are Sally Riley and Andrew Gregory. NBCUniversal Global Distribution holds the international licensing rights to the series. Stateless received production investment from Screen Australia and the ABC and is financed with support from the South Australian Film Corporation. Matchbox Pictures is an NBCUniversal International Studios company, which is a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.
Watch the trailer below.