Kim Fupz Aakeson, writer of Liam Neeson feature Cold Pursuit, has created a quirky Norwegian comedy for HBO Europe. The premium broadcaster has commissioned eight-part series Utmark/Wilderness, which will be directed by Dagur Kári, director of Paul Dano’s The Good Heart.
Aakeson is also behind AMC’s David Schwimmer drama Feed The Beast, which was based on his Danish series Bankerot. It is produced by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein Kvae at Paradox.
Utmark/Wilderness is a quirky comedy drama set in a small Norwegian town a little north of the middle of nowhere. A sheep lies savaged. A dog runs free. A wife leaves her husband. So begins a chain of revenge that entangles a whole town. Corrupt sheriff, alcoholic shepherd, nature-loving bootlegger, God-hating pastor, grieving pimp…everyone knows everyone in this secluded corner of the Nordic North. Now an optimistic new school teacher rolls in, hopeful for a fresh start. But the elements are strange and wild here. And in this place, outsiders don’t always fare well.
The show begins filming this summer in Norway with Hanne Palmquist, Steve Matthews and Antony Root as exec producers. It is HBO Europe’s latest Norwegian original following Gösta, written and directed by Lukas Moodysson, Beforeigners from Lilyhammer creators Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, and the adaptation of Frederik Backman’s Beartown, directed by Peter Grönlund.
Hanne Palmquist, Commissioning Editor and VP Original Programming, HBO Nordic, said, “Kim Fupz has created an original bunch of flawed yet wonderful characters living in a far-flung place where civilization is a choice rather than a given. Utmark is bold, at times totally hilarious – and human all the way. We’re really excited to be collaborating with a top-class combination of Nordic talent – Danish writer Kim Fupz Aakeson, Icelandic director Dagur Kari and the Norwegian team at Paradox – to bring this world to life.”
Antony Root, EVP of Programming and Production, HBO Europe, said, “Wilderness draws you into its unique world from the very start, so wonderfully drawn are the characters and story from the imagination of Kim Fupz. The creative team perfectly reflects our ambition to work with the finest talent from the region on series that are authored, authentic and stand-out from the crowd.”
Paradox’s Gjerdrum added, “After a long and exciting journey, we are now looking forward to starting the production of Wilderness. HBO’s courage and desire to challenge the boundaries of storytelling is inspiring and a fantastic opportunity.”