EXCLUSIVE: TrustNordisk & Brain Academy pact for thriller series.

TrustNordisk/Zentropa and Brain Academy are partnering on an eight-part TV series.

Danish sales powerhouse TrustNordisk and its parent production company Zentropa are developing a major TV thriller series in partnership with Swedish TV veteran Peter Settman’s new production company Brain Academy.

The planned eight-part series is adapted from UK writer Alex Scarrow’s 2007 novel Last Light.

The story looks at the breakdown of global society over just one week – starting with attacks on the world’s oil supply, creating an imminent oil shortage. During seven days the anonymous terrorists hold the planet hostage while the world rapidly collapses. The disaster is seen through the eyes of one family, including a London-based oil engineer and his estranged 21-year-old daughter.

Although the series is created by Los Angeles and Stockholm-based writer Soni Jorgensen and Brain Academy partner Patrik Ehrnst, there are a group of writers in discussions but none can be announced yet. Writers and directors are expected to be a mix from the UK and Scandinavia. The cast is expected to be internationally known actors.

“From a financing point of view we have some serious interest,” TrustNordisk CEO Rikke Ennis tells Screen. “The feel of it will be independent but there could be some major players involved,” adds Helena Danielsson, partner at Brain Academy, who will serve as the project’s lead producer. “We want to keep it as edgy as possible.”

Danielsson is one of five Scandinavian producers invited by Film London to attend Content London from December 1-3, and she will discuss the project there.

Project origins

TrustNordisk’s Peter Ahlen is part of the creative team who first brought the book to Ennis. “We thought of it as a feature film in the beginning. It’s the depth of the characters, that made us think it has to be a TV series,” she says. “It’s so relevant and it’s about how fragile the world is and it’s also a family falling apart and finding each other in crisis.

She adds that the “series will feel Scandinavian due to the storytelling and depth of characters but due to the fact that the series will be shot in different parts of Europe, the language will be mainly English. We intend however to use the best Scandinavian talent we have, both in terms of cast and directors.”

The plotlines will be thrilling but Settman says it’s also very character driven. He says the series feels especially topical in the modern world.

“It’s a realistic drama, it’s not like Armageddon sci-fi,” adds Danielsson, whose film credits include Venice prizewinner The Childhood of a Leader, Beyond and Call Girl. “It’s more about the earth and our resources, and greed and power.”

Settman’s background is in non-scripted TV, working on Swedish hits at his former company Baluba, and also known as the host of popular show Så ska det låta.

“I wanted to get more into scripted work,” Settman says of launching Brain Academy, which is part of Modern Times Group’s NICE Entertainment Group. “And to discover all the new possibilities that scripted does with Scandinavian content.”

Danielsson, who has a longtime relationship with TrustNordisk, introduced Settman and Ennis at the 2015 Berlinale to start discussing working together. Settman says, “If we want to have a local scripted DNA in Scandinavian and rest of Europe we need to find new ways of producing, that was my other point of view. I was talking to Rikke about all of that  I was excited by her personality, her energy. We had the same vision for what we can do. “

Settman said TrustNordisk was the right partner because “they’re in the forefront of Scandinavian content and getting that to the rest of the world.”

The project marks a step forward for TrustNordisk and Zentropa. “It’s a new launching point for us wanting to show that we can be more aggressive when it comes to TV series,” Ennis says. “We’ve sold TV series for a while but now we’re getting into it on an idea level, we’re thrilled about it. We can find and package our own projects, with talent, financing, and production…we want to find the new scale of Scandinavian drama. When we met Peter and Helena and discussed the project it felt like the perfect partnership sharing the same vision and it seems like we can all add value to make this become a success.”

There is also potential to expand the story beyond one season, the partners added.

Media links talking about this project:

Screen Daily



EXCLUSIVE: Viaplay and Peter Settman to deliver first original series – Swedish Dicks

Starring award-winning Hollywood-actor Peter Stormare and Sweden’s funniest comedian Johan Glans, Peter Settman serves as showrunner. Exclusive on Viaplay in 2016.

Viaplay, leading provider of digital entertainment in the Nordics, today announces the first Viaplay original series – Swedish Dicks. Co-produced together with international production company Brain Academy and founder Peter Settman, as well as Viking Brothers Entertainment and Glenn Lund.

– We are thrilled to introduce Viaplay’s very first original series – Swedish Dicks, and thereby expand our offering even further. This is an international production set in LA starring internationally renowned actor Peter Stormare, among other Nordic acclaimed actors. Our users can expect a completely unique and entertaining series, says Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, EVP MTG Programming and content Development Chief Content Officer, MTGX & Viaplay.

The new original series stars award-winning Swedish Hollywood-actor Peter Stormare, known worldwide for several great international movies and series (Big Lebowski, The Blacklist), who partners up with Sweden’s funniest comedian Johan Glans, two-time awarded Sweden’s funniest comedian (2003, 2013). Bringing Viaplay users potentially the most talked about Swedish duo, in 2016.

Awarded as a Swedish actor, producer and TV-host, as well as the founder of Brain Academy – Peter Settman serves as showrunner of the Viaplay original series. Acclaimed and acknowledged as the mastermind behind several Swedish productions (Partaj, Playa del Sol) and as the TV-host for the beloved show “Så ska det låta”.

– We are thrilled to deliver the first Viaplay original series, starring the largest names from Sweden’s actor- and humor-elite. Swedish Dicks is nothing you have ever seen before, the perfect mixture of laugh out loud moments and dialogues with a more serious undertone, said Peter Settman, Swedish Dicks showrunner.

Swedish Dicks is an international co-production and the first Viaplay original series. Starring Peter Stormare and Johan Glans as two swedes in Downtown LA, trying to survive as unlicensed private investigators. Swedish Dicks will be available throughout the Nordics, exclusively on Viaplay, later in 2016.

Media links talking about Swedish Dicks:

Screen Daily


Dagens Media





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