From A Funny Man to super cop in four Department Q features
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
30/05/2012 - Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas (photo), who was earlier this year awarded the Danish film critics' Bodil - his fourth - for the lead in Martin P Zandvliet's A Funny Man [trailer], was introduced at Cannes as deputy detective superintendent Carl Mørck, the main character in Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen's thriller series, which will be adaped by Zentropa Entertainments and commercial broadcaster TV2.
Kaas has signed for the first four films, to commence with The Keeper of Lost Causes. Meanwhile, Adler-Olsen's fifth novel is due this autumn, somewhat delayed, and according to Zentropa chief Peter Aalbæk Jensen he has planned at least one addition to the franchise annually for the next ten years. The books have sold six million copies worldwide since 2007.
Followed by The Pheasant Killers, Message in a Bottle and Journal 64, the first package will be scripted by Danish director Nikolaj Arcel and his co-writer Rasmus Heisterberg, most recently credited for A Royal Affair [trailer, film focus], which won two prizes at Berlinale - they also wrote the screenplay for Millennium 1, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
All four crimes investigated by Mørck and his assistant Hafez al Hassad will be realised by Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard, of Clown: The Movie [trailer] fame, and produced by Louise Vesth (A Royal Affair, Clown, Lars von Trier's Melancholia), for Zentropa and TV2. Principal photography for No 1 is scheduled for October, and domestic release for Christmas 2013.
"You don't get it much bigger - a best-selling author, a high-profile production company and the best Nordic talent: this is going to be an international blockbuster," said CEO Rikke Ennis, of Denmark's TrustNordisk, which started presales in Cannes. Initially, The Keeper of Lost Causes and its three sequels went to Germany/Austria (NFP teleart GmbH & Co KG) and Switzerland (Frenetic Films).