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Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

UPDATE: Gina Rinehart may have fought in court to keep details of her finances private but now the life of Australia's richest woman is reportedly coming to television.

Comedian Mark Mitchell and radio and TV presenter Chrissie Swan are among some of the unlikely suggestions put forward to portray Rinehart in the six-hour TV mini-series about her life announced today.

Mitchell, who played Con the Fruiterer on The Comedy Company as well as Con's wife Marika, tweeted: "So there's to be a Gina Rinehart show ... all I'm saying is – have they cast?"

His tweet was accompanied by a photo of Mitchell in a female wig and make-up.

Swan popped up in several tweets and on TV website TV Tonight as a contender to play Rinehart, while elsewhere on Twitter the names ranged from the plausible - Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver and Bridesmaids and Mike and Molly actress Melissa McCarthy - to the ridiculous – actors Lachy Hulme and Rob Carlton, who have both portrayed Kerry Packer on TV.

The mini-series will be produced by Screentime, the makers of Cloudstreet and the Underbelly franchise, and based on Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson's best-selling unauthorised biography of the mining billionaire published last year.

"We are delighted that we won the race to secure the rights to the story of Gina Rinehart and her father, who have fascinated Australia for decades," Screentime executive chairman Des Monaghan said.

"Adele is one of Australia's most highly regarded writers and her research, understanding and unprecedented access to those closest to the family will give an insight and greater understanding of one of the most intriguing women in the world."

Ferguson will be a consultant on the mini-series written by Michael Lucas, who last year collected two Australian Writers' Guild Awards for his work on Ten's hit drama Offspring and the film Not Suitable for Children.