Keshet International (KI) has closed its first international pre-sale for ZDF and Viaplay’s upcoming nationalist domestic terrorism thriller “Furia” to Australian broadcaster SBS, announcing the sale on the occasion of the show’s world premiere at Lille’s Series Mania.
“Furia (“The Furies”)” was inspired by, but not based on, real events of domestic terrorism in Norway and across Europe, most notably the 2011 attacks carried out by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik.
The series follows Ragna, played by Ine Marie Willmann (“Exit”), who crosses paths with Asgeir, played by Pål Sverre Hagen (“Beforeigners”), a former special ops officer who has started a new, tranquil life in Norway after escaping the Russian criminal underworld. After a tense meeting in which both are lucky to survive, the two must combine forces to prevent the right-wing group from committing their unthinkable act in Berlin, the heart of European government.
“Every now and then, a drama series comes along, and I go ‘wow,’” said SBS head of network programming, television and online content Peter Andrews of the pickup. “’Furia,’ with its extraordinary characters and meticulously crafted story, is on one level an incredible thrill-ride for the audience, but on another level, a prescient wake-up call for the world.”
Kelly Wright, KI’s senior VP of distribution and new business added: “This series sees our hero Ragna, like a female Jason Bourne, chasing down the perpetrators of what promises to be Europe’s own 9/11 terror event, all while a ticking clock and thousands of lives hang in the balance. It’s frighteningly prescient and ground-breakingly executed across Europe’s most powerful countries, making for an absolutely riveting viewing experience.”
“Furia” was created by created and produced by International Emmy winner Gjermund Stenberg Eriksen (“Mammon”) and co-produced by Håkon Briseid at Monster Scripted (“Nobel,” “For Life”) in Norway and “Babylon Berlin” producer Michael Polle for Germany’s X Filme Creative Pool.
“This is a genuine co-production,” Briseid explained to Variety ahead of the series’ premiere. “We needed to understand each country for it to be authentic. We are a small country here in Norway and so to understand the politics in a country like Germany, we needed help.”
On set, the division of labor was similarly executed. The series’ Norwegian-set episodes of “Furia” were directed by Magnus Martens (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”) and the German episodes by Lars Kraume (“The People vs. Fritz Bauer”).
“When I met these guys for the first time, I knew they wanted to make something unique and special,” recalled Polle in that same conversation, explaining how X Filme got involved. “This idea of right-wing terrorism, it really excited me – it’s a topic all over the place right now. So, it was really a 100% fit for us.”
“We were interested in the forces which create these homegrown terrorists, these people who look like us,” Stenberg Eriksen remembered. “The far right, this new right, they don’t wear uniforms, they’ve taken a different shape. They don’t wave flags in the streets or shout neo-Nazi slogans. They’re more sophisticated, some of them are well educated and capable of inflicting harm unlike what we used to see from the far-right before.”