Since the fantastic Trapped, Iceland has been well worth keeping an eye on when it comes to crime drama, especially crime drama that comes from the Nordic countries. It seems everyone wants to get into the act and now Iceland has joined Denmark, Sweden and Norway as producers of fine drama (Finland is also looking to join the party too, with the intriguing Bordertown). Sure enough, news reaches us that Icelandic production company Sagafilm is in the process of adapting the Stella Blómkvist novels for a new TV series, and have commandeered a writer who worked on Trapped. Read on for more.
Óskar Thór Axelsson, who worked on Trapped, has been drafted in to help the writing team but it’s the actual books – or at least the author of them – that’s of real interest. Stella Blómkvist is a heck of a story on his or her own. Nobody knows who Stella Blómkvist is. More than a decade have passed since the publication of her (or his) first book, Morðið í stjórnarráðinu (The Murder In The Ministry, the first to be adapted), but nobody has ever uncovered the true identity of the author. Many possible names have been suggested as the identity of Stella, including Davíð Oddson, the former Prime Minister of Iceland, and a prominent socialite.
All this intrigue is good publicity for the books, and now that intrigue is being transported to the small screen.
Scandilous reported that Axelsson was to join the writing team and quoted head writer Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, who described the series thusly:
She manages, somehow, to be the detective and the femme fatale in one package – she has that life-weariness and sexiness, combined in one character. She has flexible morality, she’s clever, she’s ruthless, she’s very witty – she’s a person who is navigating through the world on her own.
She’s in it for the money, but she has this one niggling problem – she has a conscience and a soft spot for the underdog. She’s kinda like Sam Spade, with a law degree and sexuality. We’re very proud of Stella, and we’re looking forward to introducing her to the world.
There are eight books in the series, currently – the latest book came out just this Christmas, I think. We’re adapting the first book first, and then we’ll see what happens – how well that goes. Then hopefully we’ll do the rest. There will be a book per series.
The first book, and the story we’re adapting, partly, involves the prime minister and it involves a murder in the prime ministry itself, and as we introduce the character, we are immersed in a lot of scandalous things.
This is obviously still in the writing stages and there’s a long way to go until it comes onto our screen. But a female, Icelandic version of Sam Spade? We’ll take it!