Melissa George was not the first choice for the role of agent Sam Hunter in Hunted.
The creator of the spy series Hunted, which stars Australian actress Melissa George, has confirmed a second series will be produced.
"It's sort of a spin-off," writer and producer Frank Spotnitz told BBC Radio. "There's going to be another series with Sam Hunter, but it's going to be a different format to what we saw this year."
Former X-Files star Gillian Anderson was the inspiration for the character of Sam Hunter. Photo: Quentin Jones
Spotnitz also revealed that George, who won wide acclaim for her performance in the ABC drama The Slap, was not the first choice for the role of agent Sam Hunter.
The character was originally written with the former star of The X Files, actress Gillian Anderson, in mind.
The first series of Hunted was a co-production between the BBC and the HBO-owned US cable channel Cinemax.
The BBC confirmed last week it would not continue its involvement with the series, after less-than-stellar ratings in the UK.
In a media statement, Cinemax's parent company HBO flagged it would look for ways to move the series forward without the BBC's involvement.
Speaking to BBC Radio, Spotnitz said the second season had the green light, but the details were yet to be confirmed.
"I don't know exactly how it's all landing yet – this is one of the hazards of doing this international co-production thing, [but] I know we're going forward," he said.
The series created headlines last week for all the wrong reasons in Australia: there was the outburst by George in response to a difficult TV interview, her subsequent apology, and news that the BBC had axed the series.
Spotnitz was speaking on BBC Radio in an interview timed around the broadcast of the first season's final episode in the UK.
Despite criticism that the series has an ambiguous conclusion, Spotnitz says he was extremely happy with how the series is resolved.
"There is a lot of closure in that eighth hour," he said. "I think it's pretty satisfying, emotionally and intellectually."
Spotnitz also revealed that Chicago-born actress Gillian Anderson was the inspiration for the character, and that the series was originally created because Anderson had expressed an interest in playing a female version of big-screen spy Jason Bourne.
"I wrote [Sam Hunter] with her in mind," he said.
Spotnitz worked on The X-Files with Anderson from 1993 to 2002.
Since moving to the UK, Anderson has carved a niche playing strong women in period dramas, notably Lady Dedlock in Bleak House and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.
"[Gillian] was hugely helpful in developing the script and had millions of ideas. She's an amazing actress," Spotnitz said.
But when Hunted was given the go-ahead, Anderson was unavailable, resulting in a casting process that saw more than 200 actresses audition for the part, in London, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.
"For me, Melissa was the only choice," Spotnitz said. "As soon as I saw her, I realised she was the right one."
Hunted is currently airing on SBS.