EXCLUSIVE: Sid Gentle Films is looking to build on the international smash hit Killing Eve with another crime adaptation. The British producer has secured the rights to Watching You, the first installment in Swedish author Jan Arnald’s latest series of detective novels, Deadline can reveal.
Better known by his pen name Arne Dahl, the Scandinavian writer first published Watching You in 2016 and the novel tells the story of Stockholm-based detective, Sam Berger, and his attempts to find a serial killer following the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl. As the case unravels, it reveals sinister connections with Berger’s own life.
Berger has gone on to appear in two other novels, Hunted and You Are Next, much like the recurring characters in Dahl’s Intercrime novels, which were the subject of a major Scandi-noir TV series last decade, titled Arne Dahl. That series was made by The Bridge producer Filmlance and first aired on Sweden’s SVT before being picked up by the likes of the BBC.
Watching You will be adapted by Vivienne Harvey, who penned an episode in the third season of Hulu’s Harlots and has a credit on Netflix’s The Indian Detective. She is also an actress and has appeared in shows including Black Earth Rising, which was a Netflix and BBC co-production.
It continues Sid Gentle’s reputation for working with female writer/performers, having collaborated with Phoebe Waller-Bridge on the first season of Killing Eve, which was an adaptation of Codename Villanelle. Emerald Fennell, who stars in The Crown, oversaw the second season of Killing Eve.
In addition to Watching You, Sid Gentle is developing another heavily authored drama from the hand of another burgeoning British writer: Kirstie Swain. Swain has written a pilot script for Mankillers, which promises to be a pitch-black, action-packed story loosely based on legends of Amazonian warrior women. Swain’s previous credits include Channel 4’s Pure and BBC Three’s Clique, and she was named as one of Deadline’s 10 UK writers to watch.