Present at Canneseries with “Man in Room 301,” screening today in competition, Warner Bros. Int’l Television Production Finland is ramping up its scripted content. The company is betting on two scripted shows a year, next to local versions of Warner Bros. TV factuals such as “First Dates” and “The Bachelor.”
Seija-Liisa Eskola, WBITVP Finland’s creative director and head of scripted, said “Man in Room 301” was “a step ahead” as the first high-end international co-production. Launched last December on the local streamer Elisa Viihde, the U.K-Finnish psycho drama proved the most watched series over the Christmas period. About Premium Content just licensed it to territories including the U.S. (MHZ), France and Germany (both Arte).
Two crime shows are currently filming, both for the Finnish streamer C More.
The nine-part psycho-thriller “The Color of Evil” is created by inhouse head-writer Miira Karhula. Rising names Olli-Ilpo Salonen (“Wendy and the Refugee Neverland”) and Aleksi Delikouras (“Nerd: Dragonslayer 666”) serve as co-directors.
Inspired by Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” “The Color of Evil” is loosely based on the real-life cases of three local serial killers. In it, forensic psychiatrist Leena has teamed up with her new colleague Kaius, to study the minds of three serial killers – a strangler, a nurse and someone who drowns their victims.
Leena believes that most murderers are sick and need support, but also that the worst psychopaths aren’t all a bad seed. Kaius soon turns out to be a pro-social psychopath, more dangerous than he looks. Milka Ahlroth (“Bullets”) and Eero Ritala (“Downshifters”) star. Filming is underway in an empty hospital in the Helsinki area, with delivery set for the fall 2021.
WBITVP Finland has also started filming season three of the hit franchise “Welcome to Texas” from “Man in Room 301” director Mikko Kuparinen. Reprising their roles as criminal family bosses Tuula and Upi are Maria Ylipää (“Arctic Circle”) and Turkka Mastomäki (“Bordertown”). The series went into production in August shooting in an empty prison in Vilnius, Lithuania.
WBITVP’s Finnish outpost is also behind the first HBO Nordic Original Finnish show “At Home,” a local version of the anthology series of films from top directors about life under coronavirus. The Finnish films were helmed by AJ Annila, Alli Haapasalo, Mikko Kuparinen, Mika Kurvinen, Teemu Nikki, Marja Pyykkö and Aleksi Salmenperä. “The series bowed exclusively on HBO in July.