Goalpost Pictures has optioned the Detective Emmanuel Cooper book series from Australian/South African writer Malla Nunn.
The company plans a TV drama, titled Detective Cooper, with British/Australian writer James McNamara to adapt the novels together with Nunn.
Set in 1950s apartheid South Africa, the series will explore the unlikely investigative alliance Cooper – a damaged WW2 veteran-turned-detective – forms with a conflicted Zulu police officer who has the ability to communicate with spirits of the dead and a guilt-ridden German-Jewish doctor. Bound by loss and burning to do good, the friends defy a racist police force to find justice for the dead regardless of race.
“Malla Nunn’s books Detective Emmanuel Cooper are irresistible page-turners. The action is driven by murder, passion and corruption and the stories are layered with the moral ambiguities and the smouldering undercurrents of a racially divided nation. They are stories that have resonance not just here in Australia and in South Africa, but around the world,” said Goalpost’s Kylie du Fresne.
“Goalpost is thrilled to be working with Malla Nunn and with James McNamara to adapt these stories for the screen and to extend the world of Detective Cooper.”
Nunn’s most recent book is ‘When the Ground is Hard’, which won the 2019 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for young-adult literature. It was also highly commended in this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and named a ‘notable book’ by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.