Top End Bub star Miranda Tapsell

Top End Bub star Miranda Tapsell. Photo: Prime Video/Scott Ehler

Miranda Tapsell's Top End Wedding lands a TV spin-off called Top End Bub

How often do we see a First Nations woman playing the lead in an Aussie rom-com series?

It’s hard to believe it’s already been five years since Miranda Tapsell’s film, Top End Wedding came out. Not only was it an unforgettable and hilariously entertaining watch in itself, but it was monumental for First Nations representation in Australia. How often do we see an Indigenous woman playing the lead role in a rom-com released on the big screen? 

This morning we’ve been given the great news that there’s more where that came from, with Top End Wedding getting its own spin-off TV show (that’s right, eight episodes to satisfy our binge-watching tendencies) on Prime Video. Beginning production in May this year, the show will see English actor Gwilym Lee reprise his role of Ned alongside Tapsell’s Lauren. 

Viewers will once again meet Lauren, an ambitious and incredibly talented lawyer, who’s ticking off life goals in Adelaide while happily married to Ned. But things take a turn after Lauren’s eight-year-old niece is orphaned, and the couple move to the Top End to raise her. 

One of the unique aspects of Top End Wedding was the beautiful backdrop of the Northern Territory. It’s exciting to see Prime Video tap into diverse locations and storytelling in this series too, similar to some of the streaming platform's other recent releases including Five Blind Dates

“I’m so excited to be headed back to the territory. Can’t wait to show you all what we’ve made,” Tapsell — a Larrakia and Tiwi woman — teased fans on Instagram

“Words can’t describe how excited I am to bring Lauren, Ned and the Top End back to your screens!” she added in an official press statement. “We all love a happy ending, but what happens after happily ever after? We can’t wait for you to find out!” 

Once again, Tapsell will play a huge role in helping shape the story behind the scenes, as she and fellow Top End Wedding writer Joshua Tyler craft the narrative.

“Miranda Tapsell and Joshua Tyler have created a series that speaks straight to the heart, and celebrates the messiness and beauty of family, love, and community,”  said Sarah Christie, senior development executive at Amazon MGM Studios. “We are thrilled to be working with them, along with producers Goalpost Pictures and directors Christian van Vuuren and Shari Sebbens, in capturing the stunning and uniquely Australian world of the Top End.” 

In an interview in 2019 when Top End Wedding was released, Tapsell candidly opened up about the challenges she faced in being an Aboriginal woman in the entertainment industry – and the fact that we rarely see Indigenous women playing the lead in a rom-com. 

“I’ve paid a lot of money to see films that have completely sidelined women like me,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle at the time. 

“I can tell a story through my perspective, that’s all I can do — by being honest about the way I’ve seen the world, and it hasn’t been the same as Meg Ryan’s, or Reese Witherspoon’s or Julia Roberts’.”

“I wanted to see a film where young Aboriginal women could eat pizza and wear face masks and eat ice-cream and just enjoy themselves self-reflecting on the kind of women they want to be and the kind of dreams and desires they have,” she added. 

With production only beginning next month, it’s fair to say there will be a period of waiting until we catch Top End Bub on our screens. But for an uplifting story that elevates diverse voices, places and stories, we can assure you the wait will be worth it.