Netflix cancels Queen Sono
James R | On 08, Dec 2020
Netflix has cancelled Queen Sono, despite having previously renewed the show for a second season.
The spy thriller, starring Pearl Thusi, was Netflix’s first original production on the continent of Africa. If followed Queen Sono (Pearl Thusi), who, after the assassination of her mother, grew up to become a kick-ass yet unconventional spy, devoted to protecting the people of Africa.
After arriving on our screens in February, Netflix swiftly renewed the programme for a sophomore outing, which was going to see Queen search for the truth as her newfound need for revenge took her on a mission across Africa. Pearl Thusi, Vuyo Dabula, Sechaba Morojele, Chi Mhende, Loyiso Madinga, Rob Van Vuuren, Kate Liquorish, Khathu Ramabulana and Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa were all expected to return,
Now, though, that green light has been switched off and the renewal reversed. Showrunner and director Kagiso Lediga said in a statement: “We wrote a beautiful story that spanned the continent but unfortunately could not be executed in these current trying times.”
Indeed, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic not only makes production costs much higher but also makes it trickier to travel between countries, the show’s ambitious second instalment appears to be yet another casualty of the pandemic – Netflix has previously made surprise decisions to cancel Glow, The Society and I Am Not Okay with This.
Thusi said: “It’s so incredible that we as a team got a lifetime opportunity to make history together as there will never be another ‘first’ African Netflix Original Series. I’m proud of the work we did, but everything happens for a reason. I am excited about what the future holds.”
A Netflix spokesperson added: “We’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with Season 2 of Queen Sono. We are incredibly proud of the Diprente team for sharing their audacious vision and bringing it to life with Netflix. A huge thank you to our fans across the world for the love shared for our first African Original series. Netflix is also grateful to the amazing efforts shown by the cast and crew for their stellar efforts in creating this show for our members around the world. We’ll continue to work closely with South Africa’s creative industry to keep producing more compelling ‘Made-in-South Africa’ stories.”
Netflix renews Queen Sono for Season 2
30th April 2020
Netflix has renewed Queen Sono for Season 2.
The six-part series, starring Pearl Thusi in the title role, was Netflix’s first original production on the continent of Africa.
If follows Queen Sono (Pearl Thusi), who, after the assassination of her mother, grows up to become a kick-ass yet unconventional spy, devoted to protecting the people of Africa. When Queen’s past, specifically the potential parole of the man in prison for killing her famous, revolutionary mother Safiya Sono comes back to haunt her, the well-trained operative finds herself torn between her career and seeking justice. Professionally, Queen, is a secret agent for a small South African intelligence unit called the Special Operations Group (SOG) who work to protect the country and the entire continent from any kind of threat, including terrorism, corruption, and European neo-colonialism. Personally, Queen is also navigating a complicated love life with her ex-SOG partner, Shandu.
Season 2 will see Queen search for the truth as her newfound need for revenge takes her on a mission across Africa. All while she deals with her family’s past and her complicated love life.
Pearl Thusi, Vuyo Dabula, Sechaba Morojele, Chi Mhende, Loyiso Madinga, Rob Van Vuuren, Kate Liquorish, Khathu Ramabulana and Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa are all expected to return for the second season.
Returning showrunner and Director Kagiso Lediga comments: “I am so excited by the appetite for African stories and that Netflix is continuing to partner with us to bring to life the next chapter of Queen’s story and showcase it to the world.”
Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African Original Series at Netflix, adds: “The first season of Queen Sono marked the beginning of our journey to introduce the world to exciting stories that are made in Africa. It was an unprecedented representation of a strong female black lead in African television. In the first season of Queen Sono, we saw grit and glamour, strength and vulnerability, as well as the past and the present, converge into a powerful narrative that explored the complexities and nuances of the African experience. Kagiso Lediga and the Diprente team delivered a compelling story that resonated with our viewers and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Queen Sono in this coming season.”
Diprente will return for Season 2 and are expected to begin production later this year.
Trailer: Queen Sono arrives on Netflix this February
9th February 2020
“I’d suggest you keep a low profile…” someone advises Queen Sono in the new trailer for her eponymous Netflix spy thriller – and the video suggests that she’ll do nothing of the sort.
Fierce. Deadly. Defiant. The African Netflix Original series follows Queen Sono, who, after the assassination of her mother, grows up to become a kick-ass, unconventional spy devoted to protecting the people of Africa. During a dangerous field assignment, Queen unknowingly uncovers shocking details about her mother’s death, sparking her own truth-finding mission.
Directed by Kagiso Lediga and exec-produced by Tamsin Andersson (Catching Feelings), the series stars Pearl Thusi (Quantico) and debuts on Netflix on 28th February. Here’s the trailer:
Queen Sono: Season 1 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.
Quantico’s Pearl Thusi to star in Netflix’s Queen Sono
11th December 2018
Quantico star Pearl Thusi is heading to Netflix for new series Queen Sono.
The streaming giant’s first original series to hail from the continent of Africa, the series is a story about a kickass female spy that will take place in South Africa.
Directed by Kagiso Lediga and exec-produced by Tamsin Andersson (Catching Feelings), the project follows a secret agent in a South African espionage agency, who is highly trained and takes on dangerous missions, while juggling the high-stakes work with challenges in her personal life.
The lead character, played by Thusi (pictured above in Quantico), has been compared by Netflix to a mix of House of Cards’ Claire Underwood and Jessica Jones’ Jessica Jones.
“We are delighted to create this original series with Netflix, and are super excited by their undeniable ability to take this homegrown South African story to a global audience. We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world,” said Lediga.
Indeed, Netflix’s VP of International Originals, Erik Barmack, has said that it’s one several projects planned in the continent.
“Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we’re moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content,” he told THR.
Thusi broke the news of the show on Twitter yesterday, announcing that the show is “going to change the game for every artist on this continent”.
“Thank you to Netflix for believing in this idea,” she added. “I cannot wait for every young woman, every woman on this continent and actually this planet to meet Queen Sono. We have worked so hard on this and I cannot wait.”
“We love the team behind the show, [and] we’re passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different,” commented Netflix VP of International Originals for Europe and Africa Kelly Luegenbiehl. “Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.”
— Pearl Thusi (@PearlThusi) December 10, 2018