The gritty crime series will be based on South African author Deon Meyer’s detective novels. The Little Film Company is on board to handle international sales and will commence talks with buyers in Cannes.

Sean Bean has signed on for the lead role of Detective Benny Griessel, a gifted investigator plagued by domestic strife who must save his family by tracking down a serial killer. The trilogy comprises Devil’s Peak, 13 Hours and 7 Days.

Malcolm Kohll produces with Michael S Murphey through the latter’s Kalahari Pictures alongside Ofir Kedar. Hersch Klaff, Robbie Little and Robert Fig serve as executive producers.

The producers have earmarked a September start for principal photography in South Africa.

“The Deon Meyer trilogy will be a world-class series of films set in one of the most exhilarating places on earth – Cape Town, South Africa,” Murphey said. “It has been demonstrated repeatedly lately, that South Africa is the first class filming destination. The US dollar, the pound and the Euro go further in South Africa than just about anywhere else in the world. We’ve proven that with both District 9 and Dredd.”

“I believe that Deon Meyer will do for the South African thriller what Stieg Larsson did for the Scandinavian crime novel,” Kohll said.

Devil’s Peak is the kind of gritty thriller that finds an audience wherever it plays,” Little added. “Just as the books drew people in, so will this trilogy – and there’s nobody better to play the role of Benny Griessel than Sean Bean.”