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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries launches a fan-funded movie Kickstarter campaign

Essie Davis on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Netflix
Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

The team behind Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the Australian TV show about a dashing lady detective that’s become a cult favorite in the US, has been talking about taking Phryne Fisher to the big screen since last fall. And now they’re launching a fan funding campaign on Kickstarter to make it happen.

For the uninitiated, the Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is a glamorously wealthy and cosmopolitan woman living in Australia in the 1920s. She spends her days wafting around Melbourne in a variety of beautiful outfits, solving murders and having romantic tension with the long-suffering Detective Jack Robinson (Nathan Page), but also seducing any particularly attractive man whom she happens to come across in the course of her investigations, because why not. (Pro tip: If you’re having trouble figuring out who the killer is in any given episode, remember that Phryne never seduces murderers. Her libido just has a sense for these things.)

The entire thing plays like a James Bond fantasy for women: Phryne’s hats are always as immaculate as James Bond’s suits, even if she’s scaling the walls of a Turkish bathhouse/secret opium den, and she’s just as suave, debonair, and unfailingly competent as 007 is, whether she’s at a gala or a crime scene.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries ended after three seasons, and Davis headed off to join the cast of Game of Thrones (she played an actress Arya Stark was supposed to assassinate in season six), but the show’s production team has always said they’d love to do a film sequel, or even a series of films. And now, they’re announcing, a Miss Fisher movie is in the works — but they need fan support to make the budget work.

“We need your help to fund a gap in our financing,” says the Kickstarter description, “and prove to our investors that we have a strong fan-base who will come out to watch the film.”

With this campaign, Miss Fisher is following in the steps of that other beloved female detective of the small screen, Veronica Mars. The UPN/CW show was a beloved cult favorite with low ratings, and while fans continually called for a movie, rights holder WB refused to fund it. It took a fan campaign in 2014 to bring Veronica to the big screen. It’s worth noting that studios in general seem averse to funding movies about female detectives, even those who have already proved their popularity on the small screen.

The Miss Fisher movie campaign has set a goal of $199,723 US, and as of this writing, it’s raised $57,573, with 29 days to go. Fan supporters will receive prizes ranging from notes from Miss Fisher and behind-the-scenes updates to the chance to be an extra in the film and ownership of a piece from Miss Fisher’s iconic wardrobe.

You can visit the Miss Fisher Kickstarter here.

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