After the lacklustre ratings from Underbelly: Badness, Nine will be hoping to rejuvenate its long-running crime franchise with an offshoot from the highly successful Underbelly: Razor.
Filming is under way in Melbourne on the sixth season of Underbelly which will be set in 1915 to 1927 Melbourne and tells the story of one of the city's most notorious criminals, Squizzy Taylor (who made an appearance in Razor).
Actress Diana Glenn has signed on to play acid-tongued Annie Stokes for six episodes alongside a stellar cast including Nathan Page as her husband Henry Stokes, Justin Rosniak as Squizzy and Puberty Blues stars Susie Porter and Dan Wyllie.
According to Glenn - who is dating Vince Colosimo - the producers wanted to steer the franchise back in the direction of Razor which premiered to 2.79 million viewers last year, making it the highest-rating drama in Australian history. "I think they're wanting to kind of break away from the style they've already established for Underbelly and give it a bit of a stylistic feel to it," she tells The West Australian.
"It's still part of the Underbelly franchise but I think this one is trying to create a whole different look and a different feel to it."
Recently known for her roles as suppressed women Denise Fraser in Killing Time and Sandi in The Slap, Glenn says Stokes is a little tougher.
"In Underbelly I'm playing a stronger woman... a little bit more of a ball breaker as opposed to one who has to take it all the time," she says.
"My husband and I run this illegal casino and it's in a street in Richmond which is around the corner from where all the stuff that happened in the original Underbelly. Richmond has such an interesting history; it's got a lot of crime stories."
Underbelly: Squizzy is set to air next year.