At least two of the features, which will be shot back to back, will be theatrical releases.
Having already introduced Finnish private investigator Jussi Valtteri Vares in two thrillers, Finnish leading producer Markus Selin, of Solar Films, has now started the back-to-back production of another six features from Finnish author Reijo Mäki’s novels.
”We will shoot on a 120-day schedule, and a €5.6 million ($7.2 million) budget, and while the two first titles were targeting local audiences, we are now aiming at the international market,” Selin explained. ”At least two of the movies will be theatrically released – could be more, depending on the success; the rest will go straight on DVD and be televised by our partner in the project, MTV3 Finland.”
”After Millennium trilogy, Nordic thrillers are in high demand, so we are now bringing crime films and series into focus,” added CEO Rikke Ennis, of Denmark’s TrustNordisk International Sales. ”We launched Swedish director Daniél Espinosa’ Easy Cash (Snabba Cash) in Berlin; it was an instant sell-out, so two sequels have gone into production. Likewise we have great expectations for the Vares series.”
Created by Mäki in 1986, and operating in the Finnish city of Turku, Vares - a hard-boiled PI in his forties with only two weaknesses: cold beer and warm women – was played by Juha Beijonen in Finnish director Aleksi Mäkelä’s Vares–Private Eye (Vares – Yksityisetsivä/2004) and V2: Dead Angel (V2:Jäätnynyt enkeli/2007). In the six new installments Antti Reini has the lead.
Two directors, Anders Engström and Lauri Törhönen, wll split the series between them – Engstrøm will helm The Kiss of Evil(Pahan suudelma) andThe Path of the Righteous Man (Kaidan tien kulkijat), Törhönen will direct Tango of Darkness (Pimeyden tango), Garter Snake (Sukkanauhakäärme), Gambling Chip(Uhkapelimerkki) and The Girls of April (Huhtikuun tytöt).
Mika Karttunen, Katariina Souri and Anders Engström have scripted the films, and Selin will prodiuce with Jukka Helle. Including Vares, Solar Films – which is partly owned Denmark’s Nordisk Film – will reach a record output of a 10 features in 2010, having just opened Finnish director Marja Pyykkö’s feature debut, Run Sister (Sisko tahtoisin jäädä), which went to the top of the local charts.