Keeper of Lost Causes sequel is a huge hit as third film in series is being planned with Arcel to direct.

It took Danish thriller The Absent One less than four weeks to reach 600,000 admissions in local cinemas – as the ninth domestic title this century.

Today, Danish director Mikkel Nørgaard’s second film in the Department Q franchise from Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s novels registered 619,755 sold tickets from 130 screens, surpassing the prequel – The Keeper of Lost Causes – which became No 1 on the Danish 2013 charts from a 724,509 attendance.

“It is a terrific result – I cannot wait to get started on the next film in the series, A Conspiracy of Faith (Flaskepost fra P), which we will shoot next year,” said Danish producer Louise Vesth, who signs the four Adler-Olsen films with Jonas Bagger and Peter Aalbæk Jensen, for Zentropa Entertainments and Danish commercial broadcaster TV2.

Starring Nikolaj Lie Kaas as detective superintendent Carl Mørck and Fares Fares as his sidekick, Assad, of Copenhagen Police’s Department Q for unsolved cases, The Absent One (Fasandræberne) follows the investigation of a brutal murder of two young twins in 1994, which was originally closed when a local outsider pleaded guilty and was convicted.

Meanwhile The Keeper of Lost Causes attracted 975,000 viewers when aired on Oct 5 by TV2 – the best result ever for a Danish film - and Adler-Olsen has signed a contract with US writer-director Scott Frank for an American TV series based on the Department Q novels; they are currently discussing cast, while they have agreed on Boston for the location.

Frank, who was Oscar-nominated for adapting US author Elmore Leonard’s novel for American director Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight (1998), is planning to start production next year for the 10-part series.

While Danish award-winning director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) has supplied the screenplays for the two Nørgaard films, he will himself direct No 3, also from his own script, with Kaas and Fares in the detective leads, adding Johanne Louise Schmidt, Marcus Jacobsen and Søren Pilmark.

In the third film, a bottle with the scratch ‘help’ and a letter has been found at Wick, northern Scotland. Mørck realises it could be the last sign of life from two young boys who were abducted in the 1990s. The film will open late 2015.