Netflix renewed Queen Sono for a second season back in April. But just last week, the streaming service announced that it would no longer proceed with the sophomore run of the crime drama from the Johannesburg-based production house Diprente Films.
“We’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with season 2 of Queen Sono,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “We are incredibly proud of the Diprente team for sharing their audacious vision and bringing it to life with Netlflix. 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.”
While Netflix didn’t provide a detailed explanation for its decision to pull the plug on Queen Sono, a statement from series creator Kagiso Lediga suggested that the show’s cancellation was pandemic-related. “We wrote a beautiful story that spanned the continent but unfortunately could not be executed in these current trying times,” he said.
The six-episode season 1 of Queen Sono was shot in 37 different locations across the African continent, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zanzibar. And since the supposed second season was reportedly meant to be a much grander adventure, with more shooting locations in different African countries, filming it would have been very challenging and costly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a tweet, Lediga also called that Queen Sono’s cancellation “another casualty of 2020.”
? Another casualty of 2020. Thank you to all the fans and awesome team behind Queen Sono for the magic ?? https://t.co/7U3ECFBeW5
— Kagiso Lediga (@KagisoLediga) November 26, 2020
Queen Sono star Pearl Thusi also put out a statement following the cancellation news. She 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.”
Thusi plays the titular secret South African clandestine agent in the series. The show’s first (and only) season sees her taking on dangerous missions while also facing challenges in her personal life.