Scandinavian thriller series headed for the big screen

IN THE PIPELINE. Nikolaj Lie Kaas stars as the detective Carl Mørck in the adaptation of Jussi Adler-Olsen’s million-selling thrillers, announced Zentropa at a press conference in Cannes on Monday. TrustNordisk has kicked off presales of the first feature in the series, "The Keeper of Lost Causes". Mikkel Nørgaard, Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg and Zentropa are behind the adaptation.

"The Keeper of Lost Causes" is based on the first book in the bestselling thriller-series about Department Q written by acclaimed author Jussi Adler-Olsen whose books have sold more than 6.5 million copies world-wide.

The first installment in the Department Q-series is brought to the big screen by director Mikkel Nørgaard ("Borgen", "Clown – The Movie") and award-winning scriptwriter duo Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, who wrote the screenplay for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and recently won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival for "A Royal Affair".

"Nikolaj Arcel, Mikkel Nørgaard and I have worked on this for a very long time. We have strived to create a universe that extends beyond the individual films. We wish to push some boundaries for this genre and hope to reach the entire world," producer Louise Vesth said at the press conference.

"The Keeper of Lost Causes" revolves around the two policemen Carl Mørck and Hafez el Hassad who get involved in a five-year-old case concerning a missing woman, and soon finds themselves on a journey through Scandinavia’s darkest corners to find a psychopathic killer.

TrustNordisk kicks off the presale in Cannes, and CEO Rikke Ennis has high expectations:

"You do not get a film project bigger than this. It is a perfect match between a bestselling author, a high profile production company and the best Nordic talents. The project is hyped even before the script is out and the figures of the book speak for themselves. This will be an international blockbuster."

The film is produced by Louise Vesth for Zentropa in co-operation with Danish broadcaster TV 2. The production is set to begin in October 2012 and expected to open in theatres over Christmas 2013. Zentropa has planned four feature films about Department Q.

The film has received development support from the Danish Film Institute.