'Trackers SA': Deon Meyer on controversial casting, working solo & creativity

28 October 2019 - 06:56 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Author Deon Meyer is the executive producer of new TV series 'Trackers SA'.
Author Deon Meyer is the executive producer of new TV series 'Trackers SA'.
Image: M-net/Facebook

The highly anticipated TV series Trackers SA hit M-Net screens on Sunday. The six-parter, based on a crime-thriller by author Deon Meyer, explores organised crime, rhino poaching, politics and murder.

The transition from book to television was a challenging one, Meyer told TimesLIVE, but his involvement in the casting, writing and production processes helped in ensuring the work stayed as true to the book as possible. “I was involved in the decision-making process and the overall experience was a pleasurable one.”

Meyer said he appreciated the collaboration between the cast and crew, a privilege he does not enjoy when writing solo.

He's been reading crime fiction from the age of 14, but said he hadn't made a conscious decision to follow the genre in his writing career.  

Meyer is an avid reader of anything and everything, including science and economics books. At the moment, he is reading Second Sleep by Robert Harris. He still reads crime fiction, except when he is writing.

“When I am writing, I don't read crime-fiction, it disturbs my creativity.” 

Trackers SA's characters include terrorist Suleiman Daoud, played by Emmanuel Castis.

Some have criticised the casting of Castis as the west African as he is not Muslim.Meyer noted these concerns, but said the casting process is not as simple as some viewers assume.

“The casting of characters depends on availability, affordability and suitability. We contacted agencies in search of characters and suitable candidates, and Emmanuel is the one we got, and he did an amazing job.”