Deon Meyer film casts lead detectives

2012-03-13 08:45
Pauli van Wyk
Johannesburg - Two Hollywood actors will soon breathe life into the characters Bennie Griessel and Mat Joubert, the two Cape Town detectives from the pen of Deon Meyer.

Danish actor Lars Mikkelson has just signed his name on the dotted line and Meyer is very pleased about this development.

A German film company, All in Production, obtained the rights to the Mat Joubert trilogy, of which the first book, Dead Before Dying will possibly be filmed in Cape Town early next year, Meyer said.

"Lars' interpretation in The Killing, a huge hit on BBC, was phenomenal. He will make an excellent Mat Joubert."


Rumours have also surfaced that British actor Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones) will tackle the dreaded Afrikaans accent in the name of Benny Griessel and that he will start filming scenes for Thirteen Hours (13 Uur) by the end of this year.

British producers Malcolm Kohll and Robert Fig have acquired the rights to the trilogy, but doesn't want to reveal anything yet regarding the identity of the lead role.

Kohll did, however, confirm with Meyer that negotiations with former 007 director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies, Turner & Hooch) are nearly finalised.

SA actor

A bit of good news for local talent is that a "brilliant South African male actor" has landed a role in Dead Before Dying.

Meyer is still receiving criticism for the fact that Hollywood actors play the lead roles in his famous stories.

"The producers asked my opinion on which local actor I see in a particular role and then suggested someone whom I admire greatly," he said.

Although Meyer's toes start itching with excitement, he is "cautiously optimistic" about what the future holds for his Cape heroes.

South Africans can certainly ready themselves for two local crime movies of international quality, Meyer said.


  • Peter - 2012-03-13 09:18

    Hmmmmm ... On the one hand I am very impressed and happy for the writer. On the other I am a bit peeved that we cannot do this ourselves ... as in local production with enough money and local talent behind it to make a full on hollywood blockbuster. But we must face reality --- names sell. And you need money to sell. How ironic.

      Penny - 2012-03-13 09:26

      @Peter - The problem is that there are only a very small handful of SA actors who are good enough, by blockbuster acting standards. That's the reality. We wouldn't have to overlook local talent if we had the actors who could pull off the major performances. They are there, but very, very few, unfortunately.

      Saffa - 2012-03-13 10:25

      The chaps who buy the film rights usually have the final say in any event - and I am certain they want international actors. Had a local production company bought the rights - it might have been a different story with regard to the 'main actors'. I am certain MANY local actors will feature in the trilogy though - minor roles etc etc etc, what with being filmed in CT.

      Mary - 2012-03-13 14:08

      Mentioning blockbuster in the same breath before filming has even begun is a bit over-optimistic, I would say. Everything depends on the script, so who's writing?

  • Karen - 2012-03-13 09:24

    Cant wait - absolutely LOVE his books!

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