Jón Atli Jónasson, best known for co-writing 2013’s Oscar short-listed “The Deep,” will be in France this week pitching his latest project, an Icelandic police procedural titled “Violator,” at both the Canneseries and MipTV markets. He also recently co-wrote for the in-development German-Finnish crime series “Arctic Circle,” which will receive a 15-minute sneak peek at the Mip Drama Buyers’ Summit on Sunday April 8.
“Violator” is a multi-generational police series set in Reykjavik, in 1988 and today, where two detectives investigate the same case.
Based on the real life experiences of Detective Inspector Ragnar Jonson of the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police, Jonas is a punk rocker-turned-police officer in the late ‘80s, who advances quickly through the ranks to make detective and is assigned to a task force assigned to investigate the sexual abuse of young girls.
The work of the task force stalls, and the community begins to panic as the case goes nowhere. Jonas decides, against the orders of his superiors, to implement the then-new FBI technique of profiling to find the perpetrator, which causes a new set of unforeseen problems for the detective.
The modern half of the series follows Lara, herself a police officer in the Icelandic town of Akureyri. Lara has learned that she has a lung disease that would be cause for the immediate termination of her position with the department, but wants to keep it quite so that she and her partner can adopt a child.
As a means of convincing her doctor to keep the secret, at least until the adoption is finalized, Lara agrees to settle into a desk job where her condition won’t be exacerbated. She eventually finds work in the Reykjavik City Police in the IT department. Asked by a superior to investigate a death, Lara quickly realizes she is dealing with a murder, and that it leads back to Jonas’ case thirty years ago.
“I wanted to try and see if the project could make it into the cut of the 12 projects selected at Canneseries,” Jónasson told Variety, “just to get some sense of how people might like the story.”
Now that it has been chosen to pitch at In Development, Jónasson is looking for producers and a broadcaster to attach to the project. He already has the plot laid out, and a complete bible for Season 1, and foresees 2019 as a realistic target to begin shooting.