Mikko Oikkonen, creator of Netflix Finnish crime series Bordertown, has received the greenlight for his next project, the Nordic thriller Helsinki Syndrome.
Finnish public broadcaster YLE and world sales group Beta Film have come on board to back the eight-hour limited series, which will begin shooting in Finland in June. Helsinki-based Fisher King, part of Beta’s Nordic Studio (BNS) group of Scandinavian production companies, will produce the series.
The thriller features Vikings star Peter Franzén as Elias Karo, a man whose life has been destroyed by corrupt bankers and government officials. In an act of desperation, he kidnaps four respected journalists in the office of the main newspaper in Helsinki to force them to expose two bank officials and a district court judge whose actions have wiped out Elias’ family fortune and led to his father’s suicide. The contemporary drama imagines a financial meltdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also flashes back to the Finnish banking crisis of the 1990s.
Oikkonen is best-known for Bordertown, a Nordic Noir crime series that airs on YLE in Finland and on Netflix worldwide. Currently in its third season, the show features Ville Virtanen as Kari Sorjonen, a police detective with Asperger’s.
Helsinki Syndrome will be Fisher King’s first collaboration under the BNS banner. The group consists of four Scandinavian production companies in which Beta holds a major stake. Alongside Finland’s Fisher King, the BNS group includes Norwegian production company Cinenord (Atlantic Crossing), Sweden’s Dramacorp (Agent Hamilton), and Iceland’s Sagafilm (Stella Blomkvist).
“Beta has been really interested in Helsinki Syndrome from the early stage and they have given a strong international point of view the project,” said Fisher King’s CEO Matti Halonen in a statement.
Beta will introduce the Helsinki Syndrome to international buyers at the digital MIPTV television market, which kicks off Monday.