MNet hooks Van Rensburg’s Piranha
A novel by bestselling South African crime writer Rudie Van Rensburg is to be adapted for TV by US-based Strong Studios, Convergent Media, UK-based ForLan Films and South African broadcaster MNet.
Based on the Van Rensburg novel Piranha, Endangered will start production in early 2024 in South Africa. Strong Studios, part of Strong Global Entertainment (SGE), and Convergent Media will oversee global distribution outside Africa, while distribution in Africa will be handled by MNet and parent company MultiChoice.
The six-part series has double Bafta winner Stuart Urban (The Mystery of Suzy Lamplugh, The Secret, May I Kill U?) on board to direct and screenwriter Jake Riddell (Reyka, Grantchester, London Kills) penning the script.
The series will be produced by ForLan’s Emmy-winning producer Steve Lanning (Empire Strikes Back, Gandhi) and Jake Lanning (Pulse, Trial & Retribution) alongside Advantage Entertainment’s Vlokkie Gordon (Black Sails) plus: SGE chairman Kyle Cerminara; Strong president David Ozer and exec VP of production and development Scott Weinstock; Convergent’s Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju; and MNet’s Nicola van Niekerk and Wikus du Toit.
Endangered centres on a wealthy Englishman in exile who runs an illegal syndicate smuggling endangered rhino horn, and the veteran detective who is aggressively pursuing him across South Africa. The novel Piranha was published in 2020.
“With Stuart’s vision and Jake’s dynamic screenplay, Endangered has all the facets lining up to produce a global binge-worthy hit,” said Ozer, while Reardon described the series as “a fast-moving thriller, yet grounded in important real-world issues, both of which will appeal to a broad range of international audiences.”
“Endangered represents a unique opportunity for MultiChoice to support a project that not only promises gripping storytelling but also addresses a pressing global concern. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling to make a positive impact,” added Georginah Machiridza, executive head of general entertainment for MultiChoice Group.