December 2, 2023

The six-part crime drama series titled Endangered, is set for production in early 2024.

By Helena Olori

New York-based production and distribution company, Strong Studios, has announced plans to produce a new crime drama series, Endangered, an adaptation of South African writer, Rudie Van Rensburg’s bestselling crime-fiction novel, Piranha.

Production for Endangered is slated to kick off in early 2024 in South Africa as a six-part limited series helmed by two-time BAFTA award-winner, Stuart Urban.  British screenwriter, Jake Riddell, and Emmy Award-winning producer, Steve Lanning, will serve as writer and co-producer, respectively.

Strong Studios to adapt Piranha, a South African bestseller, to a limited series, Endangered - Afrocritik

Enthusiastic about the project, Strong Studios’ president, David Ozer, stated, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Convergent Media, ForLan Films, M-Net/Multichoice Africa, and Advantage Entertainment to bring Rudie’s compelling novel to life, (and) to deliver a series that shines a spotlight on the controversial rhino poaching trade. With Stuart’s vision and Jake’s dynamic screenplay, Endangered has all the facets lining up to produce a global binge-worthy hit.”

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Riding in the same storyline as Piranha, the series will centre on Montgomery Smith, a wealthy Englishman exiled in Africa, who oversees an illicit syndicate for smuggling Africa’s endangered yet highly sought-after rhino horn also known as White Gold.

On Smith’s tail is veteran detective, Captain Kassie Kasselman, who relentlessly tracks Smith’s activities from the Cape ganglands to Kruger National Park and into Pretoria, South Africa’s bustling political hub, as he seeks to unravel the mystery and stop Smith’s syndicate of gangs and poachers. 

Beyond the typical crime thriller genre, Endangered is teased as a vivid portrayal of a South African entrenched mantra, “adapt or die.”

(Read also: Netflix Continues Partnership with Africa as it Unveils Upcoming South African Films and Series)

“While researching rhino poaching, I became increasingly aware of how serious of a problem it is. 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”, says Van Rensburg.

Rudie Van Rensburg, South African author - Afrocritik
South African author, Rudie Van Rensburg.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice’s Executive, Georginah Machiridza, described the partnership as a unique opportunity to “support a project that not only promises gripping storytelling but also addresses a pressing global concern.”

Strong Studios - Afrocritik

Strong Studios, a subsidiary of Strong Global Entertainment and Los Angeles-based Convergent Media, will oversee the global distribution of the limited series. Africa’s leading entertainment company, M-Net/Multichoice, will handle its African distribution. 


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