The television adaptation of internationally acclaimed author Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers marks the beginning of a new era in high-end African storytelling. Pan-African television network M-Net and two global broadcasting giants are joining forces to take this uniquely South African political thriller to the world. First, as announced in December 2018, M-Net sealed a groundbreaking collaboration deal with Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF. Now, M-Net can confirm that Trackers is also being co-produced by Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide beyond M-Net and ZDF’s geographical broadcasting footprint.
“The trailblazing and massively exciting co-production of Trackers illustrates M–Net’s vision and commitment to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provide fresh, proudly African narratives to our viewers as well as global audiences,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle. “It is also taking our longstanding relationship with Cinemax to the next level, allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills.”
While M-Net is already the home of Cinemax and its sister network HBO, allowing viewers to enjoy showstoppers like Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Westworld and many more, HBO, Cinemax and M-Net also launched an innovative Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back.
“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, president, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.
Filming for Trackers has already started in exotic locations spanning the length and breadth of South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production – from developing and casting, to assembling the crew and approving the final content.
Master wordsmith Deon Meyer, whose multiple-award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the accomplished Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) as well as local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe.
“Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory with all the game-changing players involved in this co-production,” Phahle concludes.
A talented local and international cast is on the bill for the six-part miniseries, some of which include Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. More details about their roles and additional credits will be announced at a later stage.
Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s popular on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23.