South African Crime Novel ‘Piranha’ Get TV Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

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South African crime writer Rudie Van Rensburg’s “Piranha” is set to be adapted into a new crime drama series from Strong Studios. Titled “Endangered,” the project is being shopped as a six-episode limited series written by screenwriter Jake Riddell (“Reyka,” “Grantchester”) and directed by BAFTA award winner Stuart Urban (“The Mystery of Suzy Lamplugh”).

“Endangered” follows the story of Montgomery Smith, a rich but exiled Englishman who is being pursued for smuggling endangered rhino horn, and also tells the tale of the veteran detective Captain Kassie Kasselman, who’s after him.

“While researching rhino poaching, I became increasingly aware of how serious of a problem it is,” said Van Rensburg in a statement. “It’s a great honour to have such renowned filmmakers helming the production of ‘Endangered,’ and I’m delighted that this issue will be brought to the attention of a wider audience.”

The Van Rensburg tale is set across South Africa and would film there as well. Production on “Endangered” is slated to begin in early 2024. Strong Studios is producing in partnership with Convergent Media, U.K.’s ForLan Films and M-Net/Multichoice Africa.

“Rudie’s series of books immerses us not only in the rich and vibrant African culture, but also exposes the criminal elements that exploit Africa for their own benefit, which reaches far beyond Africa’s shores,” said producers Jake and Steve Lanning, of ForLan Films, in a joint statement. “We are so excited to be able to bring this story and its compelling characters to a worldwide audience.”

Additional producers include Advantage Entertainment’s Vlokkie Gordon, Strong Entertainment chairman Kyle Cerminara, Strong Studios president David Ozer, Strong Studios production exec VP Scott Weinstock, Convergent Media’s Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju, and M-Net’s Nicola van Niekerk and Wikus du Toit.

Strong Studios (“Safehaven,” “Flagrant”), a division of Strong Global Entertainment, will handle global distribution with Convergent Media, while M-Net/Multichoice Africa will cover that continent.

“’Endangered’ is a double-barreled shotgun of a story. It’s a fast-moving thriller, yet grounded in important real-world issues,” Reardon said.

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