Millennium Trilogy producer Yellow Bird is embarking on a 10-part original series based on an idea by bestselling Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbø. International drama Occupied is a political thriller set in a not so distant future where Russia has staged a “silk-glove” invasion of Norway to officially secure the oil import for the rest of the world. The series looks at what happens to a nation under such an invasion.
Developed by Yellow Bird and Nesbø, Occupied will be co-produced with Zodiak Media’s French drama outfit GTV for Norway’s NRK and French/German channel Arte. Erik Skoldbjaerg, writer/director of the original Insomnia and director of Prozac Nation, will helm the first two episodes. Norwegian writer Harald Rosenloew Eeg is also on the the English-, Norwegian- and Russian-language project. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Yellow Bird, which turned Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy into three hit Swedish films that began with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, is expanding its scope from Scandinavian crime films to international properties. It has acquired rights to international best-selling author Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent book series. This one takes place in Atlanta.
Yellow Bird will produce three television films based on the book series. They begin with Triptych, the first novel in the series of books featuring Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent, his partner Faith Mitchell and their legendary boss Amanda Wagner. Slaughter will write the first script.
Financing is being arranged out of Europe, and the films will shoot on location in Atlanta. Yellow Bird’s Berna Levin and Marianne Gray will produce, with Slaughter executive producing. Ole Sondberg and Anni Furbye Fernandez will also executive produce. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: An American version of Norwegian bestselling crime author Jo Nesbo’s new TV series Occupied is being talked about. That’s what I’m told by Swedish producer Marianne Gray, who gave the keynote speech at the Film London Production Finance Market this morning. American actors and a U.S. director are also being considered for the 8-episode Norwegian TV series, which is awaiting a green light from state broadcaster NRK. Then there’s Nesbo’s novel Headhunters, which played at the BFI London Film Festival last night. The U.S. version is being adapted by Summit Entertainment as a $30M-40M movie and is now out to writers. Working Title is separately developing a feature film version of The Snowman, another bestseller by Nesbo whose books starring detective Harry Hole have sold 9 million copies worldwide.
There are parallels here to the way Hollywood has been got for Steig Larsson’s crime novels. Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which Yellow Bird made into a feature film, has been remade by Sony and David Fincher. The Swedish version has grossed $104 million worldwide — $10 million of that in the U.S. alone, which is almost unheard of for a subtitled film. The Stockholm-based Yellow Bird also made TV versions of the other two books and Music Box released them as feature films. Then there’s the original Swedish TV version of local detective Wallander, which the BBC has remade starring Kenneth Branagh. Yellow Bird co-produced the UK version with Left Bank Pictures too. Its own $5 million feature-film adaptation of Nesbo’s Headhunters, about a thieving corporate headhunter who steals a client’s valuable painting, has been picked up by Magnolia for U.S. release later this year. Gray revealed that Nesbo may write a sequel to his original Headhunters novel. Occupied is set in the near future: Russia has invaded Norway’s oil fields and the country is under occupation. Read More »
Summit Entertainment has acquired English-language movie rights to the international bestselling crime thriller Headhunters, by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. The novel, recently published in the U.S. by Doubleday and a New York Times bestseller, chronicles the escapades of a high-living corporate headhunter who steals artwork from his rich clients to finance his expensive lifestyle. When a heist unexpectedly goes south, he discovers he’s in way over his head in a murderous scheme. Nesbø’s eight crime novels featuring Detective Harry Hole have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Erik Feig, Summit’s president of production, acquisitions SVP Michael Schaefer, and creative executive Jeyun Choi will oversee the project for the studio. Marianne Gray, Ole Sondberg, and Berna Levin are aboard as producers via Swedish production company Yellow Bird. Summit acquired the English-language rights from Yellow Bird, which already produced a hit Scandinavian film based on the novel.