Lauren Beukes novel set for big screen

2011-11-29 12:24
Cape Town – Local film producer Helena Spring has snapped up the film rights to Zoo City, the 2011 Arthur C Clarke award-winning science fiction novel by South African author Lauren Beukes, reports

"I'm thrilled Helena optioned it. She's got a fantastic reputation and a ton of experience. We've already started working on the script and it's great to see how her mind works. She asks all the right questions, really gets structure, the rigours of adaptation and is pushing this to be the best thing it can be, while maintaining its distinctive Joburg flavour," Beukes told Bizcommunity.

Spring will present the project to a small group of directors while Beukes will be offered the chance to adapt the novel into a screenplay herself.

'Magical novel'

Spring has produced a number of significant projects including the first South African film to receive an Oscar nomination – Darrell Roodt’s Yesterday.

Zoo City is set in alternative version of Johannesburg and tells the story of Zinzi December who has recently been bonded for life with a sloth. In this world, when you commit a crime you become "animaled" by a process called Acquired Aposymbiotic Familiarism. Soon, Zinzi and her Sloth are plunged into a noir-style mystery with many surprises.

Interest in Beukes' work soared after Zoo City boasted huge sales figures and raked in the prestigious Arthur C Clarke award. Numerous bidders from the US and the UK competed for the film rights which was won by Spring in a spirited auction.

"I'm delighted to have secured the film and television rights for Zoo City. It is a ground-breaking, magical novel begging for a life on the big screen," Spring told Bizcommunity.

*Image by Victor Dlamini


  • Mary - 2011-11-29 13:00

    Congratulations, Lauren, well done! Some of can only drool, but not with envy.

  • Siotine - 2011-11-29 15:53

    Should have given it to the American/English agencies if you wanted to make it big in the big world.

      Mary - 2011-11-29 16:55

      Please give me a few addresses, Siotine?

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