One of the most gripping thrillers written about Cape Town is to be played out on the big screen – possibly with celebrated English actor Sean Bean as the leading man.
Local author Deon Meyer’s 13 Hours follows the dramatic hunt across Cape Town for a beautiful young American woman after two murders.
American crime and thriller fan magazine Deadly Pleasures gave 13 Hours its “best thriller” gong in the annual Barry Awards last year, and the novel also won the SA Boeke Prize Fanatics Choice Award for 2011.
It was shortlisted for the 2011 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel, the CWA International Dagger award in the UK, and the SA Sunday Times Literary Prize.
The UK’s Mail on Sunday review read: “This terrific, action-packed thriller has superbly drawn characters and an enthralling setting. Deon Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet.”
After these successes, Meyer tweeted news about a film adaptation this week, reporting that “there is a good chance that Sean Bean will play Benny” – a reference to the book’s lead detective, the worn-out, alcoholic and brilliant Benny Griessel.
Meyer also hinted that the film could be part of a trilogy of films based on his own trilogy – the other Griessel novels are Devil’s Peak and Seven Days.
Meyer told his followers on Twitter that negotiations with Bean were at an “advanced” stage, and reported that producers “hope to start principal photography in March, in Cape Town”.
Meyer added that former James Bond director Roger Spottiswood would also be involved.
The 53-year-old Bean is best known for playing Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.