Exclusive: Spier Films reveals slate of new film and TV projects

Cold war series Zaire and drama feature Dreams of the Moon among them

UK-US-South African production company, Spier Films, reveals a new slate of film and TV projects to KFTV set to shoot all over the world, including several co-productions.

Crime drama series Zaire is set to be a co-production between Michael Auret’s Spier Films and US producer Jeff Most’s company Most Media. It will be set in the Cold War and based on a true story about a US Peace Corps volunteer who marries a Congolese woman and gets caught up in the murky world of money laundering and drug smuggling.

“We are planning to film it as a serialised crime drama in South Africa and Belgium,” Auret, managing director of Spier Films, tells KFTV.

Spier Films is also developing a movie called Dreams of the Moon, alongside Canada’s Inner City Films, which will be directed by Alfons Adetuyi (Love Jacked) and is set to star Nia Long who will also serve as an executive producer.

Based on a script by Denis Foon, Dreams of the Moon is set in 1971 against the backdrop of the secret NASA Apollo 16 training mission, the film will follow an African-American teen’s dream of becoming an astronaut in her small mining town.

Billed as a cross between Hidden Figures and Stand By Me, the project “was in pre-production in 2020 when Covid hit,” explains Auret. “The plan is now to resume production in August/September in South Africa and Canada.”

Spier Films is also producing a TV series called The Last King of the North, alongside European creative collective JMG Stories, with Mark Everest (Strike Back) attached to direct. The series will follow a group of teens who attempt to unravel the mysterious death of a former Norwegian king.

There’s also the TV series Kurtz, written by Auret and based on the best-selling Australian thriller series of books by Tony Park, about a mercenary, Sonja Kurtz, caught up in the political and finance worlds.

Spier Films is co-producing Kurtz with Caspian Films, headed up by former Spier Films UK producer Thembisa Cochrane and Georgie Paget.

Another TV series is The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning, based on Hallgrimur Helgason’s best-selling book of the same name about a wanted killer who flees New York to live in Reykjavik, Iceland and assumes a priest’s identity. Auret is planning to shoot the project in both Iceland and the US.

Italian director and producer Cristiano Bortone’s thriller The Secret Talker is another project in development with Spier Films. Based on renowned Chinese screenwriter Yan Geling’s novella, the film is set during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and follows a Chinese woman who marries an American, but then receives emails from a mysterious stalker.

Spier Films is a production company with offices in Cape Town, London, Los Angeles and Reykjavik previous films include Kristian Levring's series Professionals, starring Elena Anaya and Brendan Fraser Shannon, and Francis Annan's Escape from Pretoria, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Exclusive: Spier Films reveals slate of new film and TV projects
Michael Auret, MD of Spier Films
Exclusive: Spier Films reveals slate of new film and TV projects
Michael Auret, MD of Spier Films

UK-US-South African production company, Spier Films, reveals a new slate of film and TV projects to KFTV set to shoot all over the world, including several co-productions.

Crime drama series Zaire is set to be a co-production between Michael Auret’s Spier Films and US producer Jeff Most’s company Most Media. It will be set in the Cold War and based on a true story about a US Peace Corps volunteer who marries a Congolese woman and gets caught up in the murky world of money laundering and drug smuggling.

“We are planning to film it as a serialised crime drama in South Africa and Belgium,” Auret, managing director of Spier Films, tells KFTV.

Spier Films is also developing a movie called Dreams of the Moon, alongside Canada’s Inner City Films, which will be directed by Alfons Adetuyi (Love Jacked) and is set to star Nia Long who will also serve as an executive producer.

Based on a script by Denis Foon, Dreams of the Moon is set in 1971 against the backdrop of the secret NASA Apollo 16 training mission, the film will follow an African-American teen’s dream of becoming an astronaut in her small mining town.

Billed as a cross between Hidden Figures and Stand By Me, the project “was in pre-production in 2020 when Covid hit,” explains Auret. “The plan is now to resume production in August/September in South Africa and Canada.”

Spier Films is also producing a TV series called The Last King of the North, alongside European creative collective JMG Stories, with Mark Everest (Strike Back) attached to direct. The series will follow a group of teens who attempt to unravel the mysterious death of a former Norwegian king.

There’s also the TV series Kurtz, written by Auret and based on the best-selling Australian thriller series of books by Tony Park, about a mercenary, Sonja Kurtz, caught up in the political and finance worlds.

Spier Films is co-producing Kurtz with Caspian Films, headed up by former Spier Films UK producer Thembisa Cochrane and Georgie Paget.

Another TV series is The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning, based on Hallgrimur Helgason’s best-selling book of the same name about a wanted killer who flees New York to live in Reykjavik, Iceland and assumes a priest’s identity. Auret is planning to shoot the project in both Iceland and the US.

Italian director and producer Cristiano Bortone’s thriller The Secret Talker is another project in development with Spier Films. Based on renowned Chinese screenwriter Yan Geling’s novella, the film is set during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and follows a Chinese woman who marries an American, but then receives emails from a mysterious stalker.

Spier Films is a production company with offices in Cape Town, London, Los Angeles and Reykjavik previous films include Kristian Levring's series Professionals, starring Elena Anaya and Brendan Fraser Shannon, and Francis Annan's Escape from Pretoria, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

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