After acquiring the rights to the African-written movie, Lionheart, the major streaming service is working on its first African original series.
- The series is expected to launch globally in 2020.
Netflix on Monday announced that it has started production on its first original African series, Queen Sono, an action-packed spy thriller produced by Johannesburg-based Diprente Films.
The release of this first original series by Netflix is a major milestone for the continent. Despite having one of the oldest storytelling traditions in the world, Africa has seen little breakthroughs in their artistic and/or movie industries. The cast and crew of Queen Sono feel that this opportunity will bring attention to their part of the world for future projects.
Pearl Thusi stars in the title role as an unconventional spy working for an undercover South African agency devoted to protecting the people of Africa.
According to Pearl Thusi herself, “It’s going to change the game for every artist on this continent. I cannot wait for every young woman, every woman on this continent and on this plant, to meet Queen Sono. We’ve worked so hard for this.”
Queen Sono series will include an all-local cast including Vuyo Dabula playing Shandu, an ex-spy who has taken a different path. Sechaba Morojele plays Dr Sid, director of the SOG; with Chi Mhende, Loyiso Madinga, and Rob Van Vuuren, playing agents on his team. Kate Liquorish plays Ekaterina, heiress of an oligarch family with ulterior motives. Khathu Ramabulana plays Queen Sono’s childhood friend, William, now in a relationship with Enhle Maphumulo’s Nova.
Abigail Kubekha plays Mazet, Queen’s beloved Gogo, who has always supported Queen – no matter the trouble she gets herself into. Rounding out the talented supporting cast are Connie Chiume, Otto Nobela and James Ngcobo.
— NetflixSA (@NetflixSA) June 10, 2019
The six-part series is being produced by Diprente, the Johannesburg-based production company behind Catching Feelings and International Emmy nominated Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola
Director Kagiso Lediga also had some words to say about how thrilled he is to be involved in this big milestone. In an interview with Dateline, Lediga stated that he was “… delighted to create this original series with Netflix, and… super excited by their undeniable ability to take this homegrown South African story to a global audience. We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world.”
Showrunner and director Kagiso Lediga will be joined by director Tebogo Malope, Cannes Lions and SAFTA award winner, with both directing three episodes each. The team will be led by executive producer Tamsin Andersson.