Thrilled and honoured, but he definitely has butterflies!

From money shots to big shots, Deon Meyer discusses all things Trackers, Lemmer and what it took to bring his best-selling book to the small screen.

M-Net’s biggest series production yet is an action-packed South African origin story filmed in some of the country’s most beautiful locations, with 99% South African talent behind and in front of the cameras. But that doesn’t mean its audience is limited to the local market. Meyer let us in on what he thinks makes the story and characters behind Trackers truly universally relatable.

Deon Meyer also delves into the ins and outs of adapting his novel into a successful TV screenplay. From keeping track of the amount of drafts it took to perfect the script, to making sure that every episode delivers on the action and drama promised, Meyer is confident that Trackers is the best possible screen adaptation of his original book. The author also shares his thoughts on collaborating with international big hitters like HBO, and how the channel behind the smash hit Games of Thrones brought their expertise to the creation of Trackers.

Off camera the author explained his level of involvement in the production process, why Trackers was selected for this adaptation and potential further adaptations that might see the light in the near future. And of course, the conversation inevitably led to food, with Meyer letting us in on everything from his guilty food pleasure, favourite restaurants and most-loved recipes and meals.

It was important for Deon to be closely involved in the creation of this adaptation of Trackers. I’ve had the privilege of having some of my other works translated to screen, but I wasn’t always happy with the result. It’s not that I want to dictate, I just want to ensure we make the best possible television series.

The decision was made to adapt Trackers because, at the time, it was the only one of his novels not optioned internationally. It was the only one available (to have the rights purchased) in that crucial window period when we started looking for partners, so it was absolutely by chance that we went with Trackers and not Lemmer’s first book Blood Safari.

He gets asked a lot if the show will be available overseas any time soon. With HBO involved, they have a lot of international affiliates and channels so I would imagine it would be available on many platforms in a year or so, but at this stage I have no idea. We’ll definitely release that information once it becomes available.

There are also a few other exciting adaptations in the works. It’s still very early days but Fever has been optioned by Sid Gentle Films (behind the hit series Killing Eve) in the UK, they’re still looking for a broadcast partner though. I’ve seen the first draft of the script treatment and it is looking great, but it’s all going to depend on whether they get interest from broadcasters. It’s quite exciting!

At the moment he and his wife are binge-watching Kokkedoor. It’s a lot of fun and I love anything to do with cooking and eating (laughs). This season the production value is so high, it’s incredible. And when Boer Soek ‘n Vrou returns, we’ll definitely be watching that – they’re our guilty pleasures. We also enjoy really good series like Ray Donovan and Succession.

He loves Bertus Basson’s restaurant Eike in Stellenbosch. It is magnificent and my wife and I love returning there time and again. In Paris, up in Les Marais, there is a wonderful Moroccan restaurant in Les Marche des Enfants Rouges (Le Traiteur Marocain). In Bordeaux, where we spend most of our time, there’s a little bistrot called Au Bistrot which is really great. At the market in Bordeaux, there’s also a restaurant that is only open over weekends and they serve the most fantastic tapas I’ve had in my life.

His guilty food pleasure is most definitely ice cream! Ben & Jerry’s Peanut butter cup flavour, to be specific. I had it in Canada the first time and always get it from our favourite supermarket in Bordeaux when we’re in France. I’m addicted to the stuff.

Steak and kidney pie remind him of his mother. When I was young, my mother made the most wonderful steak and kidney pie, I wish I had her recipe, it was just magnificent. It’s something that you don’t see quite often these days. And If I had to choose one last meal, it would have to be a really good Indian prawn curry.

Trackers premiers Sunday 27 October on M-Net (101) at 20:00

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