Get all the scoop on critically acclaimed filmmaker’s whodunnit project.
Following the success of his hit Netflix show, Shanty Town, Xavier Ighorodje returns with a new series.
Titled Anatomy of a Predator, the upcoming project is a five-part drama that is set around Christmas and the chaos that often comes with the festive holiday.
Developed in collaboration with Mobola Rahman, the creator describes the exciting whodunnit show as “a dramatic thriller with heavy elements of dark comedy.”
The show follows Bolanle Rodriguez, a celebrated author, who decides to host some of her friends for Christmas in her luxurious Ikoyi mansion. Unknown to them, chaos and karma await them behind closed doors.
Speaking exclusively with Pulse on set, Ighorodje shared the concept, inspirations, and casting for the upcoming project.
Concept for Anatomy of a Predator
“I did a show for Accelerate TV called Big Book of Lies last year. It was a 10-episode TV show, and I did it under very tight budgetary constraints. The premise for the show was that some friends decided to host a bride to a bridal shower, and then, they changed it into an intervention to convince her not to get married the next day. So everything was kind of contained, about 75% of the action was in the same location. I knew that if I wanted to do my own production, I had to find creative ways to cut costs. So, after the success of Shanty Town, the time felt right, and of course, I had the leading of the Holy Spirit. Since necessity is the mother of invention, I was like, ‘as against people inviting a bride to a bridal shower, what if it is someone doing the reverse, inviting her friends to the house to escape?’ That was the heart of it, and everything started falling into place. For this project, about 90% of everything happens in one huge location, which is where this interview is happening. Production lasted for three weeks; pre-production took six weeks, story development and writing took about six to eight weeks.”
Curious about his movie inspirations, I asked and found out that the creator had watched some of my favourite mystery films.
In his words, “Once I figured out that my show had elements of whodunit, I watched Knives Out, Glass Onions, Murder on the Orient Express. I did not finish Murder on the Nile because I had gotten to the heart of story development at the time.”
What to expect from the new series
Wrapping up our conversation, Ighorodje touches on the casting as well as what he wants the audience to look out for.
“For now, I am focused on telling stories that are wildly entertaining. I mean, I am not here to feel cancer or solve world hunger. I am not looking to do anything that is so deep right now. I have materials on a more austere subject matter, but the time is not right for those yet. The show is wildly entertaining. It’s Christmas and it’s something you can bring the whole family to watch and you will laugh your ass out. If you notice, we have a lot of fresh faces, who are very good. I have a belief that one of the reasons why people do not try new faces is because their stories are not very strong. So, they find ways to compensate. For me, I decided to get a material that has very strong story and add compelling faces behind it, not just established faces. While one or two known faces, most of the characters are people that you may have seen in one or two small productions but at this level, they truly get an opportunity to shine. The story is pretty very fresh, it feels familiar but then it is set in such a way that it has my trademark chaotic storytelling.
The first four episodes of the series are written by Ifeanyi Barbara Chidi (Diiche), Donald Tombia, Fatimah Binta Gimsay (MTV Shuga), and Great Opara, respectively, while Ighorodje is credited for the final episode.
Directed by Stephanie Dadet and produced by Mary Nsikanabasi Uyoh, the show stars Eva Ibiam, Osarehia Oronsaye, Moet Abebe, James Gardiner, George Nanakwesi, Phebe Adah, Korexx, David Eyo, Oscar Chihurumnanya, Bisola Aiyeola, Blessing Nze, Atteh Daniel, Bryan Okoye, Shalewa Ashafa, Caleb Richards, and Princess Obuseh.
A production of Ogbono, a content creation and development firm, Chukwuka Osakwe of Camroll Pictures Studio led principal photography, which wrapped on May 31, 2023.
The release date for Anatomy of a Predator is yet to be announced.