×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Banijay Brings Scandi-Noir Thriller ‘Wisting’ to MipTV Market

Banijay Rights will bring soon-to-launch Scandi-Noir crime thriller “Wisting,” based on the best-selling novels of Jørn Lier Horst, to the market at this year’s MipTV.

“Wisting” was co-created by Kathrine Valen Zeiner and director Trygve Allister Diesen, and follows homicide detective William Wisting on the most difficult case of his career, hunting down a dangerous American serial killer, all the while his journalist daughter is pursuing leads that will put her right in the killer’s path. Things really hit the fan when a skeleton from Wisting’s past arises, and the inspector becomes the inspected.

The series stars “The Matrix” and “Jessica Jones” alum Carrie-Anne Moss and long-time Norwegian film and TV star Sven Nordin.

Banijay Rights is handling international sales. It’s produced by Cinenord and Good Company Films in co-production with Viaplay and Degeto Film who have broadcast rights in Norway and Germany respectively, TV3 Norway and Ripple World Pictures. Additional support was provided by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the Norwegian Film Institute.“Wisting” world premieres  on the Norwegian SVOD platform Viaplay on April 11.

Variety talked with Chris Stewart, commercial director, scripted, at Banijay Rights, and series producer Anni Faurbye Fernandez ahead of the French TV market.

When Scandi Noir blew up many predicted it was a bubble that would pop, yet it has proved far more resilient. In a genre that is now so well established, how will you set ‘Wisting’ apart?

Stewart: “Wisting” combines the best of Scandinavian scripted series; cinematic visuals, in-depth characters and narrative tension, then mixes it with the star talent and the finish of a U.S. series. What is particularly interesting about “Wisting” is that, due to its main characters, the narrative is authentically trans-Atlantic.  This really sets the series apart as it’s not something that has been tackled on this scale before. In addition, the way in which the English language is used in the script is entirely natural; it relates to the needs of the investigation and is not forced in any way.  Ultimately, because of this, the series has a familiarity and accessibility which we hope will open up Nordic drama to a new audience that may have previously felt uncomfortable with non-English language productions. This will, no doubt, have impact in the U.S. in particular, where key players are starting to be more accepting of non-U.S. produced content.

The series is based on a pair of novels. How closely does it match up to the source material?

Stewart: “Wisting” brings with it a level of authenticity often unseen in scripted series. And, as with all good adaptations, viewers cannot help but be caught up in the compelling storyline, a storyline that sweeps the audience along and keeps them guessing to the very end. In “Wisting” there are a multitude of questions which arise and problems that need solving.  To be kept thinking is something that audiences love, which explains why detective adaptations are such an evergreen genre.

Faurbye Fernandez: We used the plots from the novel “Hulemannen” (Caveman) in the first 5 episodes and the plot from the novel “Jakthundene” (Hunting Dogs) in episodes 6-10. The cases in both books are cold cases, so we also prepared a new storyline where a girl disappears, and this storyline is spread throughout the whole season – this, and the arrest of William Wisting, are not in either of the books.

Does the series end definitively or is there a possibility for more?

Stewart: While the two cases that are explored in the first series of “Wisting” are resolved, there is definitely scope for Wisting to tackle new cases. There are further books in the series ripe for adaptation, and the depth of characters is such that there is great potential for expanding the narrative and taking it in new directions.

The natural landscapes in Ep. 1 are stunning. Do you think there is there something visually specific about Scandinavia that lends itself to this type of series?

Faurbye Fernandez: Absolutely.  Landscapes in Scandinavia have a special cinematographic feel of Nordic Noir, with its raw and isolated nature. The contrast between the beautiful and harsh nature lends visually to criminal genres and makes it believable for the audience.  “Wisting” is set in the unique and beautiful landscape of Norway, and is shot on a cinematic scale with dramatic results.  As such the setting for the series plays as important a role as its characters, echoing the tension of the narrative.

The series is starred by two big-named actors in Sven Nordin and Carrie-Anne Moss. How did they get involved with the production?

Faurbye Fernandez: We reached out to Sven quite early as we thought he would be perfect as William Wisting. We hired Avy Kaufman to cast the FBI roles and one of her suggestions was Carrie-Anne.

Stewart: Indeed, the producers of “Wisting” put together an amazing creative team and a stellar cast featuring Sven and Carrie-Ann Moss, an onscreen powerhouse. The involvement of Sven and Carrie-Ann has elevated the production and given it star currency. We were also very fortunate in that both Sven and Carrie-Ann were so heavily invested in the production from the start.

CREDIT: Trygve Indrelid/Banijay Rights

More TV

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    Why Emilia Clarke Felt 'Numb' While Watching the End of 'Game of Thrones'

    (SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not finished Season 8 of “Game of Thrones.”) “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke — a.k.a Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of [...]

  • GLAAD Slams Alabama Public TV for

    GLAAD Slams Alabama Public TV for Nixing 'Arthur' Same-Sex Marriage Episode

    GLAAD has criticized Alabama Public Television’s decision to not air a recent episode of children’s animated program “Arthur” that features same-sex marriage, calling the move “mean-spirited.” In the Season 22 premiere, which aired May 13, Arthur’s third-grade teacher Mr. Ratburn gets married to chocolate-store owner (and aardvark) Patrick. Alabama Public Television Director of Programming & [...]

  • Sara Gilbert and Tom Werner

    Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner Launch Production Company Sara + Tom

    Sara Gilbert and veteran producer Tom Werner have teamed up to create production company Sara + Tom, tapping into their working relationship that spans two-and-a-half decades. The two have been colleagues since the early days of “Roseanne,” which starred Gilbert on screen and featured Werner behind the scenes. Werner has executive produced 230 episodes of [...]

  • Holly Hunter Strange Weather

    'Succession' Season 2 Adds Holly Hunter in Recurring Role

    Holly Hunter is joining HBO’s “Succession.” Hunter will recur in the second season of the drama series in the role of Rhea Jarrell, the politically savvy CEO of a rival media conglomerate. She joins returning castmembers Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Hiam Abbass, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Friedman, Rob [...]

  • The Americans 30 Rock Breaking Bad

    The Best Series Finales in TV History

    As high-profile series “The Big Bang Theory,” “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” come to an end with finale episodes that received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, it becomes that much more apparent that the more invested someone is with a piece of programming, the more personally they will take the goodbye — for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content