“The Great Century” is being adapted as an epic drama series by Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, which has landed the rights to Swedish author Jan Guillou’s book series.
Guillou is known for his “Hamilton” spy-thriller novels, which Dramacorp-Pampas Studios has brought to TV as “Agent Hamilton.” That project had an international premiere at Mipcom and has presold widely, with a second season already greenlit.
Petter Skavlan will take on the task of bringing “The Great Century” to TV as head writer. His credits include World War II thriller “The 12th Man” and Oscar-nominated “Kon-Tiki.”
“The Bridge Builders” is the first installment of “The Great Century” saga. It opens in Norway in the early years of the 20th century and follows three siblings from a poor fishing family as they set out on a lifetime of adventure, laying the foundations for what will become a dynasty spanning Norway, Sweden and Germany. The action moves from Norway, on the eve of World War I, to Germany, West Africa, and the U.K.
Skavlan said Guillou’s work has a period setting but a contemporary resonance “with its themes of blind faith in new technology, the rise of nationalism, and the battle for gender equality and sexual freedom.”
Dramacorp-Pampas Studios plans its adaptation to blend serialized and episodic drama.
“I can think of no other writer than Jan who has explored in such scale and depth the complex bonds between Scandinavia and Germany in the early 20th century, and no other screenwriter than Petter Skavlan, with his passion for larger-than-life drama, who would be capable of bringing this once-in-a-generation project to life,” exec producer Patrick Nebout said.
Jens Alex, CEO of Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, added: “After the successful launch of ‘Agent Hamilton,’ this is Dramacorp-Pampas Studios’ next big thing. We’re potentially looking at the most spectacular drama series ever to have come out of Scandinavia.”