Top South African producer Helena Spring wins film rights to Lauren Beukes’s ZOO CITY


After a closely contested auction, the rights to Lauren Beukes's Arthur C. Clarke winning noir thriller have been awarded to hugely experienced producer Helena Spring. ZOO CITY has garnered big sales figures, multiple awards and universal critical acclaim, so needless to say competition among producers was fierce for the opportunity to adapt the novel. But Helena's proactive, writer-friendly approach and imaginative proposals in the end proved irresistible.

'I'm delighted to have secured the film and television rights for Zoo City,' Helena commented, 'it is a ground breaking, magical novel begging for a life on the big screen. Lauren's storytelling is masterful - edgy and futuristic, unique yet universal. It is high in entertainment value yet emotionally charged: a dream project for any producer.'

Spring has nearly 30 years experience in the film industry, producing over 20 films, and having worked with the likes of Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy; United 93) and Academy Award® winner Tom Hooper (The King's Speech). She was also responsible for the first South African film to be recognised at the Academy Awards®; Darrell Roodt's Yesterday earned a Best Foreign Picture nomination in 2004.

Lauren, who will have first option to write the screenplay of her novel, was extremely excited by the prospect of ZOO CITY coming to life on the big screen. 'Every novelist dreams of a movie deal - but you actually want more than that. You want to find a producer of great vision and integrity and experience who fundamentally gets the book and understands how to transform it into an entirely different creature based on the same genetic material. I'm thrilled that it's being produced in South Africa - for an international audience.'