While Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard’s Department Q thriller The Absent One [+]yesterday (11 October) recorded having taken 705,899 domestic admissions since its 2 October premiere – only four local films have done better this century – Danish international sales agency TrustNordisk has sold the first three films in the franchise for US distribution.
The Danish author of the series, Jussi Adler-Olsen, and US writer-director Scott Frankare already preparing an American thriller TV series based on the novels about detective superintendent Carl Mørck and his sidekick, Assad, of Copenhagen Police’s Department Q, for “cases of special focus”.
But US distributor Sundance Selects will first be “bringing this successful Danish trilogy to American audiences”, as Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said. The deal includes Nørgaard’s The Keeper of Lost Causes [+] (2013) and Danish writer-director Nikolaj Arcel’s upcoming adaption of The Message that Arrived in a Bottle, to be titled A Conspiracy of Faith.
Produced by Louise Vesth, Jonas Bagger and Peter Aalbæk Jensen, for Zentropa Entertainments and Danish commercial broadcaster TV2, the number-three film in the series will star Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Fares Fares as the two detectives, alongsideJohanne Louise Schmidt, Marcus Jacobsen and Søren Pilmark. It will be ready in late 2015.
From the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, TrustNordisk also reports a raft of deals for Norwegian director Roar Uthaug’s The Wave – Scandinavia’s first disaster movie – which has been licensed for France (AB Group), Spain (Key2Media Audiovisual), China (New View TV and Media Group), Turkey (Medyavizyon), the Middle East (Gulf Film), Hong Kong (Sundream Motion Pictures Limited), and Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam (Rain Film).
“The amazing hype and interest confirms that Norwegian films are hotter than ever, and that Norway is one of the leading countries in making genre films for an international audience,” explained Rikke Ennis, CEO of TrustNordisk. Scripted by John Kåre Raake and Harald Rosenløw-Eeg, The Wave takes place in Norway’s Tafjord on 7 April 1934, when two million cubic metres of rock fell into the water, triggering an 85-metre-tall wave that left 40 people dead.
According to geologists, a similar disaster will one day unavoidably happen again; in the €5.1 million production by Martin Sundland and Are Heidenstrøm for Fantefilm Fiksjon, Norwegian actor Kristoffer Joner stars as an experienced geologist who finds himself separated from his family ten minutes before he knows the disaster will take place. Nordisk Film Distribusjon will handle the local release in autumn 2015.