The Stranger: The puzzling true story behind the Netflix movie starring Joel Edgerton

T.he Stranger is the film that arrives on Netflix on October 13th. Tell the story of afriendship particularly between two strangers, an undercover cop and a pedophile who has been wanted for nearly ten years. From a puzzling true story that shook Australia.

The Stranger is the film with Joel Edgerton And Sean Harris available on Netflix from 19 October. Presented in world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, it is directed by Thomas M. Wright (appreciated as an actor in Top of the Lake) and tells the story of the encounter between two strangers. Neither tells the truth about who he is and the lie inevitably is the foundation on which their relationship is built.

Well-built thriller, the Netflix movie The Stranger is inspired by one of the largest undercover investigations and operations conducted in Australia.

The plot of the film The Stranger

The Netflix movie The Stranger tells the affirmation of the bond of friendship between two strangers, who start talking during a journey. For Henry Teague (Sean Harris), exhausted from a life of physical and heavy work, it’s like a dream come true. New friend Mark (Joel Edgerton) becomes his savior and accomplice.

However, neither is what it appears to be. Each carries secrets that could ruin both of us while in the background one of the largest police operations ever carried out in Australia moves me. Henry is suspected of the mysterious death of a little boy while Mark, the father of a family, is the undercover agent who goes after him.

The movie poster The Stranger.

A realistic thriller

Thomas M. Wrightwriter and director of the Netflix movie, said: “With The Stranger I wanted to make a psychological crime film that would take viewers to a hidden place, an authentic and realistic film in every detail, but also immersive and with a cinematic impact … A film that required the attention and commitment of the public, where spectators could remain involved and lose themselves in history ”.

“I have placed in the center The Stranger people who did not know the victim, but who have dedicated many years of their lives to her, as well as their physical and mental health, because although violence is the motivation of the film, it is certainly not the object of it. The real issue is the bonds between people. For me, the essential feature of this film is empathy. “

“The unknown of the title could be the person responsible for the crime, the victim, all those who suffered from this disappearance and even the protagonist of the film, of which we do not even know the name … or it could represent all those unnamed individuals who ultimately solve the case ”, he continued.

However, Wright was very clear from the start on what he should focus his attention on. “When Joel Edgerton asked me to write about the actual case in question, as a father I wasn’t sure I could make it. However, the more I delved into it, the more he took me. The Stranger is a film about the relationship between a pathological liar and a professional: tension, lies and false reality are the main elements that lead to the inevitable resolution or collapse. It is a film that reflects on what violence brings with it and the mechanisms we put in place to protect ourselves from it. But also on people who for work take the responsibility of approaching the unmentionable “.

Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris in the Netflix movie The Stranger.
Joel Edgerton And Sean Harris in the Netflix movie The Stranger.

The real story behind the film

Joel Edgerton, producer and star of the Netflix movie The Strangerbegan working on the project after reading the book The Sting. In this, the story is told of a years-long undercover operation to capture the killer of a young boy. The character Joel then plays, Mark, is an undercover detective who “befriends” the prime suspect in the crime to bring him to justice.

“We often sleep soundly because we know that someone else, like the police or the military, is watching to keep us safe,” Edgerton said. “The story told by the Netflix movie The Stranger it struck me because in the center there was a group of policemen engaged in a psychologically complex operation. I wanted to understand what happens in the mind of a policeman when, without revealing who he is, he has to enter into a relationship, day by day, with someone who is indisputably psychopathic. Although Mark hates Henry, he must show him empathy and push him towards a deep and genuine friendship ”.

In The Sting, a book signed by Kate Kyriacou, retraces the real undercover investigation that led to the arrest of the killer of little Daniel Morcombe. Daniel was thirteen when he was kidnapped in Queensland in Australia on 7 December 2003. His disappearance is linked to one of the most heartbreaking and perplexing child abduction and murder cases of the century as it took nearly a decade of investigation to trace his killer.

It was in fact only eight years after the police managed to arrest the pedophile Brett Peter Cowan, whose traces of DNA had been found on the corpse of little Daniel, found only in August 2011. To arrest him, the police put in an abnormal operation. A cop approached Cowan by posing as a criminal and promising him earnings within his (fake) criminal organization.

Cowan was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 not only for the violence and murder but also for concealing Morcombe’s remains. During the trial, despite more than 200 evidence against him and previous ones for child molestation, he continued to plead innocent.

The Stranger: Photos from the Netflix movie


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The Stranger: The puzzling true story behind the Netflix movie starring Joel Edgerton – The Wom