Australia’s Own “'Orange is the New Black,' Controversial 'Schapelle Corby' Set to Premiere

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By Anshu Shrivastava | February 6, 2014 7:12 PM EST

"Schapelle Corby" is set to premiere, February 09, 2013, on Channel Nine. As the premiere date nears, the fear is growing that the telecast of this tele-movie will spark-off another round of controversy. The cast and crew of "Schapelle Corby" filmed this movie in absolute secrecy. It was only after the shooting wrapped-up that Channel Nine announced that a tele-movie on Schapelle Corby has been shot.  At the time of filming on the Gold Coast, the working title was "Doc McGhee" to keep the trouble-makers and Corby supporters at bay.

Schapelle Corby, 36, is currently serving a 20-year sentence in the Indonesian Island of Bali.  She was convicted and sentenced in 2005 for the importation of cannabis into Bali, Indonesia. Channel Nine's tele-movie features her Bali's drug ordeal. A relatively unknown actress Krew Boylan is portraying the titular role. Denise Roberts is playing Corby's mother, Rosleigh Rose, while Jacinta Stapleton is portraying the role of Corby's sister, Mercedes. Colin Friels is playing Corby's late father, Mick Corby.

Talking about the tele-movie, Friels said to The Age's Green Guide, as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald, "Schapelle Corby" leaves guilt or innocence "up for conjecture ... I'm sure everyone has got theories about Schapelle; people say, 'She's guilty, slam her up', [or] 'Oh no, she didn't do it' ... but this script doesn't attempt to do that."

There is uncanny similarity between Schapelle Corby's drug ordeal and Piper Chapman's, protagonist of Netflix's original drama-comedy, "Orange is the New Black." Chapman is convicted and sentenced to 15 months of prison time for smuggling drug money for Alex Vause, the lesbian drug smuggler and her ex-lover. It is alleged that the drug found in Corby's bag was put by her father.

Katherine Thomson has written Schapelle Coby's story for television. Thomsan said to Steve Dow of Sydney Morning Herald that she feels "very much for Schapelle. I feel sorry that her parole has been seemingly in some state of suspension. I carry that compassion before being worried about legal things."

Dow believes this new tele-movie is bound to spark-off controversy. 

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