Stan releases first look at controversial series Romper Stomper

The new year will get off to a riotous start, with all six episodes of the Romper Stomper series set to drop on streaming service Stan on January 1.

"Romper Stomper the series is nothing like the original movie in terms of how it presents," said Stan CEO Mike Sneesby at the Screen Forever conference on Thursday, just hours before the first trailer for the show dropped. "It's a continuation, and some of the characters are coming back, but it brings it into a modern context and it sheds light on what is a very important topic."

Geoffrey Wright's 1992 film, which helped establish Russell Crowe as a major talent, was about a group of violent white racist skinheads at the margins of society. The miniseries - again created by Wright - examines the way the views of the far right have over the intervening period come to infiltrate mainstream politics in this country, while violent tactics have been adopted by some on the far left as well as the far right.

The trailer features a clash between white nationalists - calling themselves Patriot Blue - and a group of masked antifa (anti-fascist activists) at a multicultural festival.

That scene drew its inspiration from a real world incident in which anti-Muslim protesters and anti-racism activists clashed violently at a halal festival in Melbourne last April.

In a bizarre case of life imitating art imitating life, Stan recently took legal action against a white racist group that had adopted the name Patriot Blue. The group gained a moment of notoriety last week when it posted video of a verbal attack on Labor Senator Sam Dastyari in a NSW pub.

Mr Sneesby revealed on Thursday that Stan had known about the existence of the real-world Patriot Blue for about a month, but had ignored it in the hope "they would disappear like the come-and-go gutless people they are".

However, the attack on Senator Dastyari prompted them to act.

Within hours of Stan threatening legal action, the organiser of the group had written to Stan's lawyers promising to cease using the name and selling Patriot Blue merchandise "out of respect for the companies involved".

The series stars David Wenham as a smooth-talking television presenter with views not entirely out of sync with Patriot Blue, whose leader is played by Lachy Hulme. Jacqueline McKenzie returns as Gabe, no longer the woman at the centre of a love triangle involving skinhead leader Hando (Crowe) and his best mate Davey (Daniel Pollock), but still haunted by the past. "I just can't take this if this is all happening again," she says in the trailer.

Mr Sneesby says he is prepared for a divided response to the decision to revisit the subject matter of Romper Stomper.

"There have been questions about why is Stan doing this show, it [white extremism] doesn't deserve a platform," he said. "But the reality is if you go out there into middle Australia, you can absolutely see a world where people get roped into it.

"Dastyari only got coverage because he's a senator, but that shit happens all day, every day, in corners of Australia.

"For us to lay it all out in context, and show what happens, is important. If we cop flak for it, so be it. I think it's an issue that needs to have light shed on it."

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This story Stan releases first look at controversial series Romper Stomper first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.