By Simon Dang | The Playlist November 3, 2011 at 1:58AM
After the Playlist-favorite "Bright Star" starring Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw in 2009, Jane Campion was reportedly set to tackle a six-hour murder mystery miniseries titled "Top Of The Lake" with lensing slated to take place sometime this year. With the year almost over and nothing heard from the project since it's announcement late last year, we were beginning to dread a potential break down of the project.
Thankfully, though, an update has arrived and not only is the project alive and kicking but Deadline reveals "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss is now set take on the lead role of a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant daughter of a local drug lord. The actress will shoot the series during her next break from the AMC series and will follow a long line of thespians including Holly Hunter, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Meg Ryan, Kerry Fox and Cornish to feature as a Campion female protagonist. It looks like another solid choice for Moss as well who, this year, complemented her television commitments with roles in Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion" and Walter Salles' "On The Road" -- both due out next year.
"Top Of The Lake" reunites Campion with Gerard Lee, the writer of her 1989 film "Sweetie," with Emile Sherman and Iain Canning ("The King's Speech") of See-Saw Films producing. Lensing will take place early 2012 in Queenstown, located on New Zealand's South Island. Here's an extended synopsis of the mini-series courtesy of the BBC;
Top Of The Lake is original drama at its finest, bringing to screen a unique landscape – remote, mountainous New Zealand – in a powerful and haunting story about our search for happiness in a paradise where honest work is hard to find.
A twelve-year-old girl stands chest deep in a frozen lake. She is five months pregnant, and she won't say who the father is, insisting it was 'no one'. Then she disappears. Robin Griffin, the investigating detective, will find this the case that tests her to her limits. In the search for Tui she will first have to find herself.
So, a neo-noir through the eyes of Campion set in her native New Zealand? Quite frankly, that sounds superb. The BBC and it's Australian equivalent the ABC are already on board and, while no U.S. network has acquired the project yet, the Sundance Channel is already being rumored as a possibility.