Written by Campion and Gerard Lee, who previously collaborated on "Sweetie," "Top of the Lake" will be a seven-part miniseries with Campion and Garth Davis directing all seven parts.
The project will reunite Campion with her Oscar-winning "The Piano" star Holly Hunter
and will also feature Elisabeth Moss
, Peter Mullan and David Wenham.
"'Top of the Lake' is an emotional exploration into the depths of the human spirit," blurbs Sundance Channel General Manager and EVP Sarah Barnett. "We are thrilled to collaborate with visionary Jane Campion and embark on another scripted project featuring top talent and engaging original storytelling."
The project is set in the remote mountains of New Zealand and focuses on a detective's (Moss) attempts to track down a pregnant 12-year-old girl who goes missing. Mullan plays the girl's drug lord father, while Hunter will play a guru at a local camp for women.
"I am in love with the intense beauty of southern most New Zealand and am excited to be setting a story in this end of the world paradise," Campion states. "To be able to tell the story over six hours gives myself and my brilliant team a chance to make something truly absorbing and memorable."
Production on "Top of the Lake" will begin in February 2012 in Queenstown, New Zealand, making this Campion's first production in New Zealand since "The Piano."
Add Oscar-winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman ("The King's Speech"), "We are so thrilled to be working with Jane Campion and the incredibly talented collaborators who have come on board this unique series. To have Jane turn her creative energy to longer form drama is further proof of how exciting television has become, a key medium for sophisticated and original storytelling."
Neither the BBC nor Sundance Channel have set a premiere date for the miniseries.