‘Vikings’ Star Peter Franzen Joins ‘Helsinki Syndrome’ from ‘Bordertown’ Creators (EXCLUSIVE)

Peter Franzen
Credit: Actors in Scandinavia

‘Vikings’ star Peter Franzén will headline premium Finnish series “Helsinki Syndrome” from “Bordertown” creator Mikko Oikkonen, co-writer Antti Pesonen and helmer Juuso Syrjä.

The eight-part suspense thriller is produced by Beta Film-backed Fisher King for Finnish pubcaster Yle. An iconic title in Finnish Nordic Noir, “Bordertown’s” three seasons have played in Netflix.

Franzén plays Elias Karo who takes four journalists hostage at their newspaper’s headquarters, in a desperate attempt to get them to reveal the wrongdoing wreaked on his family. His plan is to force them to expose the two bank officials and a district court judge who have wiped out the reputation and possessions of Elias’ family, which prompted his father’s suicide.

When police special forces besiege the newspaper, negotiator Jarmo Kiiski realizes that Elias has planned every down to the final detail, while one of the journalists finds evidence supporting his claims – and details begin  to emerge of  a conspiracy affecting hundreds of other families.

Fisher King executive producer Matti Halonen said the show is inspired by Finland’s 1990s bank crisis. “It’s a story of a modern-day Robin Hood from the North, with flashbacks from the 1990s.”

For the producer, Franzén is perfect for the part. “He’s extremely skillful and has the ability to play the role of a gentle family man who can take actions that require true mind-power, while suffering the dilemmas this involves.”
Best known for his role as King Harald Finehair in History saga “Vikings,” Franzén is one of Finland’ s finest actors, trained at Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.

The character-driven suspense ”Helsinki Syndrome” is due to start filming in June, with a premiere on Yle pencilled for 2022. Halonen is currently discussing global sales for his next big TV show after the noir drama ‘Bordertown” (“Sorjonen” in Finnish), one of the first Finnish dramas that secured a co-production and global sales deal with a major international player – Federation Entertainment – before landing on Netflix.

Co-financed by Netflix, Yle and local distributor Aurora Studios, a feature spin-off of the crime/family drama “Bordertown” is due to premiere domestically in October before a global rollout on the U.S. streamer.