Bestselling South African author Deon Meyer’s “Trackers” is being adapted for TV after African pay-TV heavyweight Multichoice teamed with German pubcaster ZDF to bring the thriller to the small screen.
“Trackers” interweaves three story strands into a thriller spanning the length and breadth of South Africa and involving organized crime, smuggled diamonds, state security, black rhinos, the CIA, and an international terrorist plot. The TV adaptation will run to six parts and will shoot in and around Cape Town next year.
Meyer will serve as supervising screenwriter on the series. Robert Thorogood (“Death in Paradise”) will be the showrunner. Britain’s Three River Studios and German-based Helle Media put the co-production deal together.
Jyri Kahonon (“Bordertown”) is attached to direct, and Ivan Strasburg (“Treme”) is on board as director of photography. Three River CEO Jonthan Drake said that “the co-production represents the first in a new wave of stories and international series” coming out of South Africa.
“We are the leading African storyteller on our continent, and this deal is a fantastic way to diversify programming for our subscribers across Africa,” said Yolisa Phahle, Multichoice’s head of general entertainment. “Ultimately, our vision is to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provide compelling new stories for global audiences beyond African shores.”
ZDF’s head of international fiction, Simone Emmelius, added that Meyer has a loyal fan base in Germany.
“’Trackers’ is an intelligent crime story and that, combined with the exhilarating South African locations and the great talent, both in front of and behind the camera, is guaranteed to enthrall viewers while, at the same time, introduce a huge television audience to Meyer’s work,” she said.
“Trackers” will be delivered in the fall of 2019. Drake, Steve Maher and Ben McGrath will exec produce, alongside Tim Theron and Cobus van den Berg from Scene 23 in South Africa. An international distributor is expected to be announced within weeks.