The martial artist, film producer, scriptwriter and actor Carlos Ray ‘Chuck’ Norris who is affectionately known as Chuck Norris around the world will be in Botswana beginning of next year to shoot a movie titled Blood Brothers. The movie is a martial arts and action movie on anti-poaching and it is expected to show the plight of poaching that has befell Africa which saw neighbouring countries relocating their rhinos to Botswana for safety. Even though he is 76 years old it has been noted that the Hollywood star has agreed to come to Botswana to do the movie. The scriptwriter of the movie is a Motswana who is based in Hollywood Sebati Motate and the film is also produced by locals in martial artist and actor Ricardo Mokwena and actor Imani Archibald Seboni. In directing the movie they will be using the services of Isaac Florentine who has directed many Hollywood action movies among them hits like Undisputed, Last Man Standing and Redemption. There is also Michael Jai White of Why Did I get Married, and other Hollywood film veterans for cinematography and editing. There is Richard Norton who is an actor, martial artist, stuntman, action film star and stunt choreographer.
The producers of the film titled Blood Brothers revealed that their film will be so much different from any other films that have been shot in Botswana because the producers and the scriptwriters are Batswana, and also they will shoot most of the scenes in Botswana while a few will only be in Hollywood. Seboni said that it is time that they start telling their stories and move from a tendency where people have to tell the Botswana story and just make money out of it and it does not benefit Batswana anyhow. He recalled on how he was paid peanuts when he was featured in the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency (Mma Ramotswe) and how they saw many Batswana getting menial roles in the series even though they are able to act. “Why not cast locally, Batswana have talent and that is why in this movie that we are doing we will see Batswana taking up many leading roles other than the five ones that have already been taken by Hollywood stars,” he said.
The other producer Mokwena revealed that the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development and the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism have together contributed a sum of P10 million to the making of the film. He said that even though that may sound like a hefty sum of money to other people in film making that is quite little and that is why they need investors to pitch in and help in funding the movie in any way that they can. “A martial arts and action movie is expensive,” he said. To show that they need more investors Mokwena said that they will need to recreate some of the scenes in places that they can’t be allowed in with cameras, like the maximum prison where they will have to create one just for the shooting of the movie only and that will be expensive. He said that they have also secured USD3.5 million from the anti-poaching unit in USA to help them fund the movie.
Mokwena said that the reason why they have the notable Hollywood stars that they chose is to give Botswana as much exposure as possible and they made sure that they source out the best where they could not find such talent locally and also to make the movie sellable all over the world. He said that they will announce soon as to when the auditions will be taking place in Botswana and they will start from Gantsi, Maun down to Gaborone where they will be looking for Batswana for many roles in the movie. He said that they intend to create more jobs with the production of the movie where they are looking at 152 Batswana .The producers revealed that they are very excited about this project and all they need is for Batswana to come up and support them in any means that they can the way local companies like Naledi Motors have already done since they will also be doing media placement in the movie.