The Professionals Shoots in SA
Africa’s biggest co-production to date recently wrapped shooting in and around Johannesburg with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
An action series depicting the high-risk lives of Private Military Contractors, The Professionals is a co-production between Ireland and South Africa, with primary location shoots in both countries. This is the largest co-production to take place in Africa to date, with a combined budget of UA27 million. Principal photography began in Dublin on 26 May and in South Africa on 3 June 2019.
Stars like Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Tom Welling (Smallville), Elena Anaya (Wonderwoman) and Said Taghmaoui (American Hustle) will be part of the action-adventure series, along with support from international actors and local stars like Stevel Marc (Of Good Report), Tanya van Graan (Zulu), Kai Luke Brummer (Origins), and Nic Rasenti (Outlander), who will be season regulars. Newcomer Jazzara Jaslyn (A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits) will also join the cast.
Director Thabang Moleya (Happiness is a Four Letter Word, Jacobs Cross) will direct two key episodes of The Professionals, with Spier Films heading up the South African side of the co-production. The first three episodes will be directed by Bharat Nalluri, while Michael Colleary will serve as the series’ showrunner and head writer. The series was created by Jeff Most of Most Media, and is loosely based on Roadside Attractions’ feature film release Soldiers of Fortune.
“This is the kind of television that couldn’t be more timely or topical as it imagines billionaires using their wealth to deploy private military units to achieve their political and business goals,” he says.
“We are extremely proud to demonstrate the strength of co-production and the promises that it brings to the South African film industry and our economy at large,” adds Spier Films Executive Producer Mike Auret.
“It is particularly gratifying to walk on set and see a diverse representation both in front of and behind the camera,” says Dr Lwazi Manzi, Producer of The Professionals. “To see our stars holding their own with international stars, and to be able to do what any other big studio does is an exciting leapfrogging exercise that I can assure my colleagues can be undertaken by anyone who has the ambition and grit to survive it. I truly hope that what we are doing here will embolden others to do the same.”
Financing for the show was arranged by the Industrial Development Corporation of SA, Cofiloisirs with the support of IFCIC, Aperture Media, Tele Munchen Group, and Viaplay.