BERLIN — Stockholm-based global distributor Eccho Rights has boarded international financial thriller series “Polaris” (formerly known as “Bankster”) from fast-rising Icelandic production outfit Glassriver. The eight-part series, now in development and commissioned by Icelandic public broadcaster RÚV, will be co-produced and distributed by the Lumiere Group in Benelux.
Creators/co-writers of the high-concept series are crime writer/screenwriter and former financial crime investigator Jón Óttar Ólafsson, and Glassriver CEO Hordur Rúnarsson. The company’s co-founders –writer/director Baldvin Z (“Case”, “Life in a Fishbowl”) and Andri Óttarsson (“Case”, “Stella Blomkvist”) are script supervisors.
“Polaris” is based on the compelling true story of one of the largest bank robberies in history, when Icelandic ‘banksters’ emptied British saving accounts of £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) to reimburse Russian oligarchs and shabby businessmen whose assets were frozen when the financial crisis hit Iceland in 2008.
After stealing from ordinary U.K. citizens, the banksters fled to Libya to hide the cash. In the series Alex, an ex-financial investigator returns to the police to try to cover up the crime he committed within a bank. It’s a run against time as Laura, a U.K. Serious Fraud Officer is after him. Their cat-and-mouse game leads to a dark path of corruption and debauchery that goes all the way to the highest level of governments across Europe.
Nicola Söderlund, managing partner at Eccho Rights said: “‘Polaris’ is a gripping and compelling true story that still has not been told.“
“As the story unfolds the details are both scaring and surprising-£1.8 billion were stolen from British savings accounts, transported to Libya and hidden in the desert. Has this really happened? Sometimes real life beats reality,” the TV sales executive added.
Ultimately for Söderlund, “Polaris” is a “high concept thriller about the shadow world of money laundering with a lead female investigator that against all odds fights the corrupt world of illegal banking. We are very proud to represent this unique project,” told Söderlund to Variety.
Rúnarsson said he “couldn’t be happier “to have Eccho Rights on board this international thriller as their “genuine deep interest and passion in the project makes them an ideal partner.”
The series is due to start filming mid-2021, between Iceland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the U.K. and Africa. A director has yet to be attached.
“Polaris” is Eccho Rights’ first Icelandic scripted series and a new step in the company’s strategy to ramp up its lineup of quality Nordic scripted content. Other high-end Nordic dramas on its slate include the Finnish/Chilean period drama “Invisible Heroes,” Swedish crime series “Honor”, and romantic comedy dramas “Love Me” and “Swiping.”
Glassriver (“Manners”, “Ordinary People”) has a string of high profile TV dramas in various stages of development and production including Baldvin Z’s “Black Sands,” handled by All3Media, as well as the dramedy “My Funeral.”