SF Studios has boarded Nordic distribution and worldwide sales rights to a pair of action-thriller films and a series based on Ilkka Remes’ bestselling novel “6/12,” which will be directed by Antti J. Jokinen (“Flowers of Evil”) and headlined by Jasper Pääkkönen (“BlacKkKlansman,” “Vikings”).
Titled “Omerta,” the new Finnish franchise will be produced by the banner Cinematic and will revolve around a secret unit of European special forces. The two feature films will be titled “Omerta 6/12” and “Omerta 7/12,” and will be released in the fall of 2021 and 2022 by SF Studios across Scandinavia. The TV series has been ordered by C More in Finland.
“Omerta 6/12” begins as a hostage thriller, with a Serbian terrorist group executing a coordinated attack on the presidential reception ball on Dec. 6, Finland’s Independence Day. The storylines of “Omerta 6/12” and “Omerta 7/12” will take place in Helsinki, Moscow, Brussels and Minsk, and will be shot in several languages, including Finnish, English, Swedish and Serbian.
Remes, who ranks as Finland’s bestselling contemporary author with more than 3 million copies of his books sold in the country, said the idea for “6/12” came to him while he was writing another book. “In a heartbeat, I started sketching the storyline and couldn’t stop until it was complete,” said Remes.
The films and series will be produced by Mikko Tenhunen (“The Unknown Soldier”), Jokinen and Evelin Penttilä at Cinematic. The executive producers are Mikko Kodisoja, Thomas Fanning and Sara Norberg from Cinematic and Yaba Holst from SF Studios. Cinematic has optioned several of Remes’ novels and are developing more films, but it’s unknown at this stage if these projects will be sequels to the two “Omerta” movies.
“Having recently directed emotional dramas, it’s thrilling to move to directing features based on the renowned Ilkka Remes’ bestsellers and entertain wide audiences,” Jokinen said. He has previously directed “Flowers of Evil,” which won him a best director award at Shanghai; “Purge,” based on an award-winning novel written by Sofi Oksanen; and the World War II drama “The Midwife.”
Jokinen said Cinematic would be using the using “the newest virtual-world technologies” to make “Omerta,” which looks to be one of Scandinavia’s most ambitious films to date.
Holst, who is executive producing and heads up Nordic acquisitions for SF Studios, said “the scale and ambition of this story is unique in the Nordics and strongly reflects SF Studios’ ambition to be a leading local distributor and executive producer of films.” The company recently made its first fully English-language film, “Horizon Line,” by Mikael Marcimain, starring Allison Williams (“Get Out”) and Alexander Dreymon (“The Last Kingdom”).
Under Anita Simovic, SF Studios’ international sales team has handled a wide range of films, including “Britt-Marie Was Here,” the comedy-drama based on a bestselling novel by Fredrik Backman (“A Man Called Ove”); Espen Sandberg’s epic adventure film, “Amundsen”; Santiago Requejo’s heartfelt comedy drama, “Grandpas”; and Kasper Torsting’s World War I-set Danish love drama, “A War Within.”