Stars on Mars to transform Coober Pedy – supporting 250 jobs for Australian screen industry

The Albanese Government is supporting more than 250 local jobs in the screen industry – with Stars on Mars the latest production coming to Australia.

The new unscripted series will begin filming in May as part of the Location Incentive, with additional support from the South Australian Film Corporation.

From Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome to Pitch Black and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – the red sands of Coober Pedy have long been favoured by film makers and producers.

This time around the opal capital of the world will be transformed into the surface of Mars – securing a significant financial boost for the local economy, with more than 150 businesses to benefit.

Stars on Mars will see international celebrities take part in an experiment, experiencing what it would be like to be a part of a space program exploring and living on the Red Planet.

With the remote outback in and around Coober Pedy imitating the Martian landscape, this simulation will see celebrities experience physical and mental challenges inspired by real life Mars exploration programs.

Stars on Mars has been commissioned by Fox Entertainment in the United States and launches on Monday June 5, featuring William Shatner.

Federal Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said the Government will always back Australian jobs in the screen industry.

Stars On Mars might be set on another planet – but this production will have real world impacts for the Australian screen industry, supporting local jobs and expertise.”

South Australian Minister for the Arts Andrea Michaels said: “We are delighted to welcome Stars on Mars as the latest major international production to film in South Australia’s stunning underground Outback town of Coober Pedy.

“As the largest TV format production ever filmed in the state, Stars on Mars holds significant economic and tourism benefits for Coober Pedy and Outback South Australia and will invest significantly into the South Australian economy.

“Stars on Mars is the first time that format television of this scale has been produced in South Australia. A major international project of this calibre will deliver industry benefit by building workforce capacity and broadening the range of screen projects that can be made in the state. This reflects the recommendations from the South Australian Film Corporation’s newly launched South Australian Screen Industry Workforce Development Strategy.

“Stars on Mars will strengthen South Australia’s position as a premier location for TV format productions and open the door to more large-scale international and domestic productions to drive investment in local industry.”

“We’re thrilled to bring the production of Stars on Mars to Australia, providing hundreds of jobs within the Australian entertainment industry, while also showcasing Coober Pedy,” said Chris Culvenor, Co-CEO of Eureka Productions.  “This unique and stunning location offers the ideal setting to recreate the surface of Mars, and we are excited to film the U.S. version of Stars on Mars here for FOX.”

Stars on Mars is produced by Eureka Productions, a Fremantle company. Chris Culvenor, Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Eden Gaha serve as executive producers, along with Charles Wachter, serving as executive producer and showrunner.

Stars on Mars is an original format created by Chris Culvenor of Eureka Productions.  Fremantle has international production and distribution rights to the Stars on Mars format.

For more information on the Location Incentive, visit: