Finland’s leading streaming service Elisa Viihde has ordered “Sphere of Shadows” (working title), an international political thriller series which will be directed by AJ Annila, the up-and-coming helmer who recently won a Jussi Award (Finnish equivalent to the Oscar) with “The Eternal Road.”
The ambitious ten-part series will be produced by Teea Hyytiä and Sari Lempiäinen from Zodiak Finland, while international sales will be handled by About Premium Content (APC), an co-production and distribution outfit boasting offices in London and Paris.
Set in the 1950s, “Sphere of Shadows” (“Nyrkki”) unfolds in Helsinki which at the time was the focal point of the Cold War, as global powers and their intelligence agencies coalesced in the small neutral country that stood between the East and the West.
“Sphere of Shadows” follows a secret intelligence team whose mission is to defend the independence of Finland no matter the cost. And with the upcoming presidential election in Finland, the stakes are higher than ever. The series was written by Kristi and Katri Manninen, the well-known mother and daughter pair.
“’Sphere of Shadows’ is inspired by true historical events, and it introduces a new genre to the range of original series on Elisa Viihde. (This series) is a good example of the type of fascinating storytelling that we want to keep offering to our customers,” said Ani Korpela, head of content at Elisa Viihde.
Annila said she came on board immediately after reading the first scripts written by the Manninens. “Their spy thriller (…) was a puzzle that was boldly exciting, entertaining and cruelly beautiful. The concept felt right for me, and I haven’t seen anything like it as a viewer either,” added the director.
“Sphere of Shadows” marks another Finnish series acquired by About Premium Content, following “Isolated,” a high-concept fantasy thriller series set in a remote island, and the crime drama “Deadwind” (pictured).
Production for “Sphere of Shadows” will kick off in the fall and will roll out on Elisa Viihde during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Emmanuelle Guilbart, the co-CEO and co-founder at APC, said her company APC was “delighted to sign a new series from Finland, which is rapidly becoming the home of high-end drama and talent.”
Guilbart also said “Elisa Viihde shares (About Premium Content’s) ambition and passion for quality drama.”
About Premium Content’s slate of European series also includes “A Very Secret Service,””Valkyrien,””Young and Promising” and “Gigantes.”