Finland’s leading streaming service Elisa Viihde has ordered “The Man Who Died,” a high-profile crime series based on the bestselling book of the same title by Antti Tuomainen.
Jussi Vatanen (“Man in Room 301”), Saara Kotkaniemi (“Peacemaker”) and Sara Soulié (“Noces d’Or”) will headline the six-part series which begins filming in Finland in June with Samuli Valkama (“Monday,” “The Three of Us”) on board to direct. The show will be premiere in the Nordics on the streamer Elisa Viihde Viaplay in the Fall of 2022.
A standalone thriller, “The Man Who Died” has been translated into seven languages since it was originally published in 2016, and has been nominated for several international awards.
The novel is being adapted for television by Markku Flink and Brendan Foley (“Cold Courage”). The TV series follows the storyline of the book, which follows Jaakko Kaunismaa (Jussi Vatanen), a successful Hamina-based mushroom entrepreneur who discovers he has been slowly poisoned and sets out to uncover the murderer before his impending death. With the clock ticking, Kaunismaa feels gloriously alive for the first time in years, as he faces the ultimate questions of love, life, betrayal, death – and mushrooms.
“Our investments in Finnish drama productions are continuing,” said Ani Korpela, Elisa’s CCO. “‘The Man Who Died’ is a gripping thriller with elements of black comedy that tackles fundamental questions of life and death,” said Korpela.
ReelMedia Oy, whose owners include Matila Röhr Productions Oy, is producing the series which will be co-produced by the German production company ndF. The series has been developed by Lu-minoir Oy.
“The series ‘The Man Who Died’ is a great source of joy and gratitude for me,” said Tuomainen, a critically acclaimed author who has been nicknamed the ‘King of Helsinki Noir.’ “I’m excited to see how the series will be received not only in Finland but also in Germany and in the U.K., where the novel has received great reviews and attracted a large readership, added Tuomainen.
Foley, who wrote the script for the thriller, said he’s a fan of “Antti’s dark humour.” “Sometimes moving from a book to a series feels like wrestling with a bear; but this is such a visual story with larger-than-life characters, that the scripts were a joy to write, particularly at a time when the world needs all the joy it can get,” said Foley.
Markku Flink, who is producing the series, said it had “great international potential for people who like the quirky dark humour of the Coens or Wes Anderson.”
“The Man Who Died” will be produced in collaboration with Business Finland, Town of Hamina and the South East Finland Film Commission.