Lackberg is in Cannes talking up hot project The Fjallbacka Murders, which TrustNordisk is pre-selling

Swedish novelist Camille Lackberg is pictured here in Cannes over the weekend where she was talking up The Fjallbacka Murders, a mammoth new TV and movie project based around her bestselling crime series set in the sleepy coastal town of the title.

TrustNordisk is pre-selling the project here which consists of ten 90 minute episodes and two 110 minute theatrical films. The films will be based on books five (The German Child) and six (The Mermaid) and ready in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

The books follow a writer/journalist called Erica and her husband policeman Patrik who work together to solve murders in the tiny coastal resort of Fjallbacka.

The first four books had already been made into films for Swedish television “but,” she says, “they were on a much smaller scale than this, so this takes it to a new level. We are changing the cast altogether and making the lead characters Erica and Patrik younger because our hope is that this is going to be running for a long time.”

And unlike the first TV films, Lackberg is very much involved this time out. “To me the books are like my children and I wanted to hand them over to someone who would take care of them,” Lackberg said in Cannes over the weekend. “I had a first meeting with Tre Vanner, the production company, and we were on the same page from the start. The books are partly crime story, partly the story of a couple and their relationship and we both wanted to focus on that.”

Tre Vanner has a history of top quality TV and film including the original Wallander series, and feature films like Easy Money (2009). And Lackberg has formed a company with Tre Vanner to produce this project. In addition, she has been one of the script team on the TV episodes but is not in charge. “I am part of the process and they check everything with me. I am a bit of a control freak so it was very hard with me that I wasn’t allowed to have an input in the first four films.”

“One of the prerequisites for me was that it would be a high quality production,” she says. “For me as a crime writer, it’s always very tempting to see your books adapted to film or TV, but that had already happened so I had ticked that box if you like. I want this to be very good quality.”