Charles van Onselen books to be made into TV series

INTERNATIONAL producers have secured the rights to Showdown at the Red Lion (Jonathan Ball Publishers) and Masked Raiders by Charles van Onselen to make an international television drama Series, based upon the acclaimed books.

Johnathan Dorfman and Dave Matthews, from Stolen Sky Productions in the United States, David Collins, from Samson Films in Ireland and Jeremy Nathan, from Zidaka, South Africa, have acquired the rights to both books.

The central story will be based on the life and times of Jack McLoughlin as revealed in Showdown at the Red Lion and embellished by the characters and stories found in the Masked Raiders. It is envisioned that the television drama series will be produced under the South African-Irish Co-Production Treaty.

The books are set in Johannesburg, South Africa – the frontier of money, the new Eldorado.

Within months of its founding in 1889, the mining camp built on top of the largest gold reserves in the world, is host to organised crime: the African ‘Regiment of the Hills’ and ‘Irish Brigade’ bandits.

Bars, brothels, boarding houses and hotels ooze testosterone and violence, and the use of fists and guns is commonplace.

This is the world that ‘One‐armed Jack’ McLoughlin – brigand, soldier, sailor, mercenary, burglar, highwayman and safe‐cracker – enters in the early 1890s to become Johannesburg’s most infamous ‘Irish’ anti‐hero and social bandit.

The series will be developed and produced for a global audience.

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