BERLIN — Modern Times Group’s Viaplay, the ambitious SVOD service aiming to build into a Canal Plus of the North, has acquired Nordic territory pay TV/SVOD rights to drama series “Fury,” to be directed by “Tomb Raider’s” Roar Uthaug.
Uniting some of Norway’s highest-profile TV talents, “Fury” is created by Gjermund S. Eriksen, who won a 2014 Intl. Emmy in the best drama series category for state broadcaster NRK detective series “Mammon.”
Producing is Monster Scripted, which won recognition for “Nobel,” a political drama set against Norway’s military and big business involvement in Afghanistan. Monster Scripted forms part of the Modern Times Group. Viaplay’s acquisition is no given, however. With it, Monster Scripted has ticked the first right box, the backing of a strong local player, on its way towards a series green light.
Written by Eriksen and Helena Nielsen, “Fury” turns on a cop who blows the cover of a woman police officer who has infiltrated a right-wing movement in Norway. Together, they have to travel to the heart if Europe to track down a European network of right-wing extremists and thwart an upcoming attack.
A character-driven suspense-thriller still currently in development, said Monster Scripted’s Håkon Briseid, “Fury” “talks about the struggle for Europe’s identity. There are a lot of forces, on the extreme right and left, that want to tear Europe apart. Although we aim to make a highly entertaining drama, we feel we have a very important story to tell.”
Uthaug, whose credits also include disaster movie “The Wave,” will direct some of the episodes. “The series is not all action but when we have action, we want it to be good,” Briseid added.
Eriksen will pitch“Fury” at the Co-Pro Series, a pitching and networking event which unspools Feb. 21 at Berlin’s burgeoning Berlin Drama Series Days.
“The Viaplay deal is one major stepping stone in getting the show made,” said Briseid, who said that they would now present the show to international co-producers in the hope of attaching “a major European partner – creative, as well as financial – which would allow ‘Fury’ to be greenlit.”
“This European co-production is completely organic,” said Briseid.
“Fury’s” budget looks to be around €1.25 million ($1.5 million) per episode, according to Briseid, compared to an average of about €1 million ($1.2 million) for a high-end show in Norway.
“This is a large show but that’s a sensible budget,” he said.
Monster Scripted specializes in fiction drama grounded in Norwegian realities. “We think that’s our strength. We try not to think American. We have to believe the stories ourselves,” Briseid explained.
“Nobel” won a best actor Golden Nymph for Askel Hennie at the 2017 Monte Carlo TV Festival and a drama series Rose d’Or. It was made available on Netflix from December 2016.