New Last King of the Cross: Business as usual for Paramount+ after merger speculation

last king of the cross

Four Ibrahim brothers onscreen: John and Sam joined by actors playing younger brothers Michael and Fadi

Paramount+ is continuing production on previously announced commissions with season two of Last King of the Cross underway in western Sydney.

The start of production on the second series based on the life of John Ibrahim comes after speculation about the streaming platform’s parent company Paramount.

It was revealed that the US chief executives of Paramount, Bob Bakish, and Warner Bros Discovery, David Zaslav, met in December 2023. The lunch meeting at Paramount apparently discussed what a merger of the two companies would look like.

Paramount+ Australia announced shortly after the first series launched that Last King of The Cross was the streaming service’s most-watched local series in its first week.

As the new season starts filming, Paramount+ and production house Helium confirmed Lincoln Younes and Claude Jabbour are back as the characters of brothers John and Sam Ibrahim. The family dynamic will be a highlight of season two, with audiences introduced to the characters of John’s younger brothers Michael Ibrahim, played by Dave Hoey (Granny Flat Comedy), and Fadi, played by newcomer Alex Kaan.

Last King of the Cross S2: Alex Kaan (as Fadi Ibrahim), Claude Jabbour (Sam Ibrahim), Lincoln Younes (John Ibrahim) and Dave Hoey (Michael Ibrahim).Top: Jabbour and Younes

Also returning are the characters of Detective Liz Doyle (Tess Haubrich), Big Tony (Matt Nable), Tongan Sam (Uli Latukefu) and Simone (Janet Anderson).

See also: Last King of the Cross’ Lincoln Younes and Claude Jabbour on making “fearless” TV in Australia

Last King of the Cross: Synopsis Season 2

The start of season two is 18 months on from the first season and will feature John Ibrahim “lying low” overseas while brother Sam is locked up in jail.

Returning to Sydney, John sets his sights on capturing a new kingdom – the glittering prize of Oxford Street, Sydney’s nightclub empire. John is thrown into a struggle for power with the reigning queen of Oxford Street, Ray Kinnock, who is determined to either keep John out, or take him down, while facing the relentless scrutiny of newly promoted Senior Sergeant Liz Doyle and her new task force.

John’s greatest threat comes directly from his family. Released from jail, Sam builds the largest bikie chapter in Australian history, putting John on a collision course with the entire criminal world, while their youngest brother Michael walks a moral tightrope, grappling between a life of promise – or throttling head-first into a life of crime.

Paramount ANZ’s Daniel Monaghan

Production commentary

SVP content & programming, Paramount ANZ, Daniel Monaghan said: “After the phenomenal success of the first season, we’re excited to kick off filming for Last King of The Cross. The second season promises to captivate audiences with a gripping tale of power, loyalty, and the evolving dynamics of Kings Cross with all new challenges on Oxford Street. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride as we delve deeper into these intricate, decadent and dangerous worlds.”

Helium chief creative officer Mark Fennessy said: “We’re super excited to continue the story of Last King of The Cross – bringing more extreme and fascinating untold stories of John Ibrahim and his family. Season two will surprise and thrill our audience in unexpected ways as we enter the seductive, dangerous, and ecstasy-fuelled world of the early 2000s.

“The production team is delighted to reunite the exceptional cast and crew that delivered such a stunning first season and welcomes new additions who will contribute even more in elevating our unique world to new heights.

Last King of The Cross promises to once again push the boundaries, showcasing the evolution of our characters against the backdrop of Sydney’s gritty and glamorous nightlife scene where power, sex, crime, and business intersect.”

Last King of the Cross

John Ibrahim goes global

Mark Fennessy told Mediaweek recently about the series’ life outside of Australia.

Last King of the Cross has performed very well in international sales with the distributor Cineflix doing a very good job. Sky UK has re-upped for season two and season one has just been running. It has also gone to Paramount in Canada, Sky for Italy, Germany, and Ireland and Warner Bros Discovery in New Zealand.

“It is still early days with a number of other territories at the moment. Like any franchise when it climbs into a second and potentially third season the volume makes it more attractive.

“I would expect more sales from territories that didn’t pick up season one once suddenly they are able to acquire 18 episodes.”

Production notes

Last King of The Cross is a Helium Pictures production for Paramount+ Australia with Cineflix Rights as the exclusive international distribution partner. The series has received major production investment from Paramount Australia in association with Screen Australia and is financed with support from Screen NSW through the Made in NSW fund and Fulcrum Media Finance. Post, digital and visual effects supported by Screen NSW and Screen Queensland.

Last King of The Cross season two is directed by Grant Brown, Ian Watson and Tori Garrett.

Written by Sam Meikle (Wakefield), Sarah Smith (Amazing Grace), Fin Edquist (MaveriX), Jane Allen (In Our Blood), Tim Pye (Bali 2002) and James Pope (Last King of The Cross season one).

The series is produced by Alexandra Doering, executive produced by Mark Fennessy and John Ibrahim, with Alexander Pettaras as associate producer.

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