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Djimon Housou + Orlando Bloom To Star In Gritty South Africa-Set Police Procedural "Zulu"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 20, 2012 at 12:12PM

Djimon Hounsou will star alongside Orlando Bloom in French director Jérôme Salle's new feature titled Zulu, which is based on French author Caryl Férey’s award winning crime novel of the same name.
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Djimon

Djimon Hounsou will star alongside Orlando Bloom in French director Jérôme Salle's new feature titled Zulu, which is based on French author Caryl Férey’s award winning crime novel of the same name.

Set again the backdrop of post-apartheid South Africa, Hounsou and Bloom will play two South African police officers on opposing sides of the apartheid divide, who work together to fight crime.

Here's how Amazon.com describes the book the film will be based on:

Readers should be prepared for graphic scenes of shocking violence in Férey's hard-hitting procedural, which won France's Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel. Ali Neuman, the chief of the Cape Town police crime unit, investigates the murder of 18-year-old Nicole Wiese, found one morning in the South African city's botanical gardens with her skull crushed in. Since the victim's father was a member of the Springboks rugby team that won the world championship in 1995, the case attracts heavy press coverage. The trail leads Neuman to an extraordinarily brutal narcotics gang with links to a former apartheid official. The good guys don't walk away from their encounters with the bad guys unscathed. This is a welcome addition to the growing ranks of crime books set in South Africa—powerful and unflinching in its portrayal of evil both mindless and calculating.

I'm curious, so I've already ordered my copy of the 2010 novel.

Here's the film production company's description of the filmed version:

As a child, Ali Neuman narrowly escaped being murdered by Inkhata, a militant political party at war with Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. Only he and his mother survived the carnage of those years. But as with many survivors, the psychological scars remain. Today, Ali is chief of the homicide branch of the South African police in Cape Town. One of his staff is Brian Epkeen, a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman. Together they have to deal with crime that inevitably exists in sprawling areas of un -and under- employed people, crime exacerbated by gangs, both local and from other parts of Africa. Their job gets even more difficult when the corpses of two young women are found. A new evil has been introduced in the city and a new drug has been introduced to its residents, including both murder victims. At the chaotic crossroads where brutality and modernization collide, the echoes of apartheid still resound in the shadows of a society struggling toward reconciliation.

Obviously Djimon will play Ali Neuman, and Bloom will play Brian Epkeen.

Director Salle has has already penned the script adaptation with principal photography on the film scheduled to begin on location in Cape Town, South Africa, this July.

Revies of the novel I read online were all very strong. I'll find out for myself whenever I eventually get to read it, which will hopefully be before the film is released.

I'm not familiar with Salle's previous work, so can't offer commentary on what we might expect. But looking at his IMDB resume, he clearly loves his crime fiction.

This article is related to: casting


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