Australia’s Goalpost Pictures (Cleverman, New Gold Mountain) is co-producing period drama Detective Cooper with South Africa’s Quizzical Pictures (Intersexions) for South African broadcaster M-Net.
The story centres on a white detective in apartheid-era South Africa with a dangerous secret: he is in fact mixed race.
The series will be adapted from A Beautiful Place to Die by Australian / South African writer Malla Nunn (pictured). LA-based British / Australian writer James McNamara, who was twice named ‘international rising star’ by BAFTA LA, is creating the series for television, in partnership with South African Writer Amy Jephta (Ellen, The Ellen Pakkies Story)
Malla Nunn whose latest novel recently won the LA Book Prize for YA Literature, is story editor on the production. Sarah Christie is development producer for Goalpost.
Quizzical’s Nimrod Geva, who will Executive Produce with Goalpost’s Kylie du Fresne and Rosemary Blight, said: “Quizzical Pictures is thrilled to be joining such great collaborators on telling a powerful, engrossing story with surprising relevance to our own time. Audiences will immediately be pulled into the fascinating contradictions of apartheid-era South Africa: from secret identities at smoky jazz clubs to Nazi ties and sexual deviance in deceptively quaint towns.”
Goalpost’s Kylie du Fresne said: “This is a show that calls for passionate South African partners and Goalpost couldn’t be happier to be joining with Quizzical and M-Net to adapt these terrific novels for television. The morally ambiguous characters and drama driven by murder, passion and corruption – set against a fractured, racially divided nation – will make for compelling viewing.”
“M-Net is excited to partner with Quizzical and Goalpost Pictures on the production of Detective Cooper. Set against the volatile backdrop of the fifties in South Africa, Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper faces multi-layered challenges as he, alongside colleagues Constable Shabalala and Doctor Zweigman, solves mysterious crimes. We knew we wanted to be part of this gripping world Nunn created which is so authentically intriguing and suspenseful; it aligns perfectly with our strategic vision to be Africa’s most loved storyteller,” says Nkateko Mabaso, M-Net Group Executive: Programming.
The series is being developed with the support of Screen Australia.
No Australian broadcaster has yet been appointed.