Finland to Get Local Version of 'The Office'

BBC Films / Entertainment One
Ricky Gervais as David Brent of 'The Office'

Finnish comedian Sami Hedberg will take on the role of hapless office manager Pentti Markkanen, the Finnish version of David Brent.

Finland is getting its own branch of The Office.

The iconic British mockumentary sitcom, created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, will get a Finnish-language makeover, with production house Solar Republic adapting the series for the local market.

Finnish comedian Sami Hedberg will star in Konttori (Finnish for The Office) as Pentti Markkanen, the local version of hapless office manager David Brent, played by Gervais in the original.

Finnish TV companies Elisa Entertainment and Nelonen have picked up the show for two eight-episode seasons. Production is set to begin at the end of the month. Instead of the dour British town of Slough, the Finnish version will be set in Riihimaki, a town 40 miles north of Helsinki famous only for having the highest flagpole in Finland.

The Office deal is a rare case of a British series getting adapted for the Nordic territories, which love Brit TV, but tend to prefer the original shows, aired in English with subtitles. Sweden commissioned a local version of The Office, but it was dropped after only two seasons in 2012-2013.

The comedy series has found more success elsewhere in adaptation, particularly in the U.S., where NBC's version of the show, which originally starred Steve Carell, ran for nine seasons. The German version of The Office, called Stromberg, ran for five seasons and produced a hit spinoff feature film. The series has also been adapted in France, Chile, Israel and French-speaking Canada.

In addition to the original Office, which ran for just 14 episodes over two seasons, BBC Worldwide last year acquired rights to 187 scripts from the U.S. version, extending the potential for future adaptations.

Gervais is revisiting his David Brent character with a feature film spinoff of his own: David Brent — Life on the Road, which opens in U.K. theaters Aug.19.

 

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