Whether it was due to the 2010 World Cup, Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 or maybe even our very own special presidential version of the Bachelor (Who is going to be JZ’s next wife? Tune in this week!), it seems that our little corner of Africa is quite popular in the movie world nowadays.
Hot on the heels of Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds’ actioner Safe House, comes the news that Orlando “And my bow” Bloom will be joining Djimon “Give’s us free!” Honsou in Cape Town based crime thriller, Zulu.
The film will be an adaptation of Carol Férey’s 2010 novel of the same name, which sees two Cape Town police officers, Ali Neuman and Brian Epkeen (Honsou and Bloom, respectively), investigating the murder of 18 year old Nicole Wiese. What complicates the matter is that Nicole is the daughter of a 1995 World Cup winning Springbok rugby player (Kobus?) resulting in a media circus around the case. And as the pair investigate further, they uncover a greater mystery with roots in South Africa’s Apartheid history.
The film is being directed by French film maker Jérôme Salle, whose previous works include Largo Winch and it’s sequel The Burma Conspiracy. Angeline Jolie and Johnny Depp’s flaccid film The Tourist, was actually an English language adaptation of Salle’s earlier and far superior film Anthony Zimmer. Salle has already adapted the gritty and often violent novel.
The official studio synopsis for the film reads as follows:
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.
Orlando Bloom is of course most commonly known as the walking Pantene ad, Legolas, from the Lord of the Rings series. He is far from talent-less, but has yet to really sink his milk teeth into a role that requires more than looking pretty and staring off into the distance. Honsou though has always struck me as an incredibly gifted actor with a screen presence intense enough to wilt most of his co-stars. Unfortunately though, he appears to have graduated from the same School of Script Selection as Nicholas Cage.
This film does have great potential though, so hopefully they can meet that promise.
Now, the only questions remain is how much Bloom will massacre the accent and whether or not they will be having a Gatsby and a Cabana in Bo Kaap?
Principle filming will be starting on location in Cape Town in July. No release date has been set yet.
Last Updated: February 21, 2012