EXCLUSIVE: Marcella producer Buccaneer Media and Baltasar Kormakur’s RVK Studios have pacted to co-produce The Reykjavik Confessions. An English-language dramatization of one of Iceland’s most mysterious murder investigations, it has John Brownlow (The Miniaturist, Fleming) attached to write.
The story is based on the 1974 case in which two men vanished in the barren outskirts of Iceland’s capital 10 months apart, After six months of unsuccessfully trying to pin the murders on six young suspects, police flew in Karl Schutz, the so-called super cop famous for cracking the West German terrorist cell, the Baader Meinhof Gang. Ultimately, the six admitted to a role in the killings despite not being able to remember anything about the crimes. The bodies were never found.
BBC journalist Simon Cox has been studying the case for several years and is also consultant on the production which is inspired by his reporting.
The series will also reflect how at the time, Iceland and its turbulent background were thrust into the international spotlight. The island nation was a battleground for ideological and intellectual supremacy of both the U.S. and USSR — encapsulated in the Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky chess Match of the Century that was staged in Reykjavik and watched by a global TV audience of millions.
Meanwhile, the gunboat diplomacy of the Cod Wars with the UK played out as the Royal Navy and Icelandic Coast Guard frequently clashed in the freezing waters around the island.
Everest helmer Kormakur says the story has been an integral part of Icelandic life for over 40 years and notes, “After they had been set free from jail, I got to know some of those convicted and hear their side of the story. They still protest their innocence and I feel it’s our duty to bring this complicated murder mystery to life.”
Executive producers are Buccaneer’s Tony Wood and Nicola Larder; Kormákur and Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson for RVK; and Cox.