Kim Fupz Aakeson, writer of the film Cold Pursuit and the AMC show Feed The Beast, has been hired to write an eight part quirky Norwegian comedy-drama titled Utmark/Wilderness for HBO Europe. Aakeson has been signed on along with director Dagur Kári, the director of The Good Heart, and Paradox’s producers Finn Gjerdrum and Stein Kvae. Hanne Palmquist, Steve Matthews, and Antony Root are signed on as executive producers.
According to Deadline, Hanne Palmquist, Commissioning Editor and VP Original Programming of HBO Nordic described Aakeson’s work by stating, “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.”
Wilderness will be set in a small Norwegian town in the middle of nowhere following the adventures of an optimistic new school teacher looking for a fresh start. However the townspeople, including a corrupt sheriff, alcoholic shepherd, nature-loving bootlegger, God-hating pastor, and grieving pimp, are not welcoming to newcomers. A chain of events following a dog-savaged sheep and a wife leaving her husband lead to a tale of revenge entangling the whole town.
According to Deadline, Antony Root, EVP of Programming and Production, HBO Europe, described the show, “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.”
According to Deadline, Paradox’s Gjerdrum also 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.”
This is one of HBO Europe’s numerous new lines of Norweigan shows including Gösta, Beforeigners, and the upcoming adaptation of Beartown. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gösta is a Swedish sitcom from director Lukas Moodysson, writer of Show Me Love. Then, on August 21 they will premiere their first Norwegian show the sci-fi comedy Beforeigners created by Anne Bjornstad and Eilif Skodvin the creators of the Netflix show Lilyhammer. They have greenlit the adaptation of Beartown, a novel from the Swedish author Fredrik Backman, with Peter Grönlund, the director of Drifters and Goliath.
Production begins this summer in Norway.