The Stranger a film by Thomas M Wright with Joel Edgerton

8 October 2022

Daniel Morcombe, a thirteen year Sunshine Coast boy, went missing in December 2003, as he set off to do some Christmas shopping. In August 2011, after an extensive police investigation, and a sting operation, Brett Peter Cowan, who would later be convicted of Morcombe’s kidnapping and murder, was arrested by detectives.

The Stranger, trailer, directed by Thomas M Wright, is a dramatisation of the police operation to apprehend Cowan, and is based on the 2018 book, The Sting, by Kate Kyriacou. But The Stranger is not a direct re-telling of Morcombe’s disappearance. Instead it focuses on efforts to bring the person responsible to justice.

Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton stars as Mark, an undercover police officer, who befriends a man named Henry Teague. Teague is suspected of committing a serious crime, but police lack sufficient evidence to charge him. Mark sets about gaining Teague’s trust, and he hopes, an admission of Teague’s guilt.

A friendship forms between two strangers. For Henry Teague, worn down by a lifetime of physical labour, this is a dream come true. His new friend Mark becomes his saviour and ally. However, neither is who they appear to be, each carry secrets that threaten to ruin them and in the background, one of the nation’s largest police operations is closing in.

The Stranger is currently screening in Australian cinemas.


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