This image released by FilmDistrict Pictures shows Sharlto Copley in a scene from "Oldboy." (AP Photo/FilmDistrict Pictures, Hilary Bronmyn Gayle)

Pretoria - Video games have for years offered intricate storylines and graphics to rival the best special effects of movies and TV series, and now Sony has decided to cash in by producing a network-exclusive show starring South Africa’s own Sharlto Copley.

The Pretoria-born actor has been cast as the lead in Powers, the first original programme to be made for and broadcast exclusively on Sony’s PlayStation Network.

The superhero venture has been adapted from the successful Marvel comic series Powers, which was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming.

Copley, who gained international fame as the hapless bureaucrat-turned-reluctant-hero Wikus van der Merwe in Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi blockbuster District 9, will play the hero of the series, detective Christian Walker.

Walker and his partner Deena Pilgrim (played by Susan Heyward), investigate cases involving people with superhuman abilities or “powers”.

“Set amid today’s paparazzi culture, Powers asks the question; what if the world was full of superheroes who aren’t actually heroic at all?” said Sony.

For Bendis, the show’s executive producer, Copley has the acting chops to bring Walker’s complex character to life on the small screen.