BBC One today announces the commission of 3×90 minute films for the BAFTA winning Wallander series from Left Bank Pictures. Principal photography is due to begin on location in Skane, Sweden, Copenhagen, Denmark and Cape Town, South Africa.
Sir Kenneth Branagh returns in his BAFTA winning role as Inspector Kurt Wallander in three new films produced for BBC One by Left Bank Pictures, Yellow Bird and TKBC, co-produced with Masterpiece, TV4, Film i Skåne and the Copenhagen Film Fund, in cooperation with ARD Degeto and with the support of the Ystad Österlen Filmfond.
The three feature-length episodes are written by Peter Harness (Case Histories, Is Anybody There?) and James Dormer (Spooks, The Fixer), and adapted from two original novels by Swedish author Henning Mankell.
The first film, The White Lioness, written by James Former and directed by Jonathan van Tulleken (Top Boy, Misfits) is adapted from Henning Mankell’s third original novel in the Wallander series, The White Lioness. The story takes place in South Africa and will be filmed on location in Cape Town.
The two final instalments in the Wallander series will be written by Peter Harness, directed by Ben Caron (Skins; My Mad Fat Diary; Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This), and adapted from Henning Mankell’s final Wallander novel, The Troubled Man.
Haunted by his past, Wallander faces a deeply personal case whilst looking towards the future with profound uncertainty. He will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary – himself. The Troubled Man will be filmed on location in Skane in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark.
Kenneth Branagh says: “I always approach each series of Wallander with anticipation and excitement, but this last series of films contain some of the greatest challenges the character has ever faced. It’s a privilege to try to meet them, and I look forward to a great Swedish Autumn working on Henning Mankell’s masterly creation.”
Andy Harries, Executive Producer for Left Bank Pictures says: “Wallander was the very first commission for Left Bank Pictures and we are delighted to be able to bring the complete cycle of Henning Mankell’s novels to their natural conclusion. Sir Kenneth Branagh has created one of the iconic detectives of our time and to collaborate with him on this incredible journey has been a privilege.”
Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “It is only right that we bring the final chapter of the brilliant and ground-breaking Wallander to BBC One, for what is set to be a dark, thrilling and emotional finale. Thanks to the incredible cast and production for bringing four series of this genre-shaping drama to our BBC audience.“
Daniel Gylling, Executive Producer for Yellowbird says: “We could not be more thrilled to start shooting series four with Sir Kenneth Branagh and continue honoring Henning Mankell’s great work by bringing Kurt Wallander back to the audiences who love him.”
Returning cast include Jeany Spark as Linda Wallander, Richard McCabe as Nyberg, Barnaby Kay as Lennart Mattson, and Ingeborga Dapkunaite as Baiba Liepa.
Executive Producers for the three films are: Andy Harries for Left Bank Pictures, Annie Faurbye Fernandez and Daniel Gylling for Yellow Bird, Kenneth Branagh for TKBC, Matthew Read for BBC Scotland, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece and Åsa Sjöberg for TV4. Co-Producers are Ralf Ivarsson and Thomas Gammeltoft and producer is Sanne Wohlenberg.
The multi award-winning Wallander has won seven BAFTAs, including Best Drama Series and Best Actor for Kenneth Branagh in the titular role in 2010, following his Best Actor award at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in 2009. Wallander has also been nominated for two Emmy awards and one Golden Globe.