Starz has acquired U.S. premium pay-TV rights to Norwegian mystery drama thriller Monster. Created by headwriter Hans Christian Storrøsten and director Anne Sewitsky, it’s produced by NRK Drama. The seven-episode serial killer series has also just won the 2017 European Script Award for Most Innovative Script of the Year by a newcomer.
In the dark and remote landscape of northern Norway, a brutal murder reveals a mass grave which links old cases to missing people. Local policewoman Hedda (Ingvild Holthe Bygdnes) is put on the case with special investigator Joel Dreyer (Lilyhamer and The Bridge‘s Jakob Oftebro) who comes from the metropolitan south. Their different backgrounds, personalities and methods immediately set them against each other. But when the investigation begins to spiral out of control, both detectives resort to questionable moves in order to stay on the case and protect their secrets.
Starz’s commitment to Monster for the U.S. is a significant landmark for Norwegian drama. It follows a growing trend of local-language dramas to head to English-speaking markets. The UK’s BBC Four has been an avid acquirer of Scandi drama while Sundance TV has aired Italy’s Gomorrah and co-produced German series Deutschland 83. NRK’s Nobel is currently on Netflix and its Valkyrien recently debuted on Channel 4’s Walter Presents in the UK, the service that also launched in the U.S. in March.
Monster begins airing in Scandinavia next month. NRK retains terrestrial rights in Scandinavia; DRG has the rest of the world. Other recent deals for Monster include sales to SBS in Australia, Canal Plus in France, RTS in Switzerland, Spike in Russia and Viaplay for SVOD in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
A leading influence on the Nordic Noir genre, Jørgen Johansson (The Bridge, Borgen, The Killing) is lead cinematographer. NRK’s Lasse Greve Alsos is exec producer.
Check out a teaser below: