COLOGNE, Germany - Yellow Bird, the Swedish production house behind feature films The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Headhunters and the Wallander crime series have begun production on a new TV drama based on an original idea by best-selling Headhunters author Jo Nesbø.
Yellow Bird will produce the first one-hour, ten-episode season of Occupied for Norwegian network NRK and French-German public broadcaster Arte with with Marianne Gray of Yellow Bird heading up the production. GTV, a French production outfit, like Yellow Bird also owned by the Zodiak Media group, will co-produce.
Acclaimed Norwegian filmmaker Erik Skoldbjaerg, whose 1997 thriller Insomnia was remade by Chris Nolan in 2002, has come on board to set up the concept of the series and direct the first two episodes. Harald Rosenloew Eeg, whose screen credits include the scripts to Troubled Water (2008) and Erik Poppe's upcoming A Thousand Times Goodnight starring Juliette Binoche, will be a main writer on the series.
Occupied is set in a near-future after Russia has quietly occupied Norway to seize the country's oil resources. The series is described as a multi-layered political thriller looking at what happens to a nation under invasion.
Occupied will shoot in English, Norwegian and Russian, starting in early 2014 for a 2015 broadcast on NRK and Arte. Yellow Bird said it would soon announce other Nordic partners on the show.
Zodiak Rights will handle international sales for the series. Jo Nesbø is represented by Sweden's Salomonsson Agency.