Germany’s ZDF Studios, Iceland’s ACT4 Partner on Nordic Crime Thriller ‘Big Brother’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Germany’s ZDF Studios has teamed up with Iceland’s ACT4 to develop the Nordic crime thriller “Big Brother,” based on the award-winning debut novel ‘Stóri Bródir’ of Icelandic author Skuli Sigurdsson.

A tale of revenge and justice, “Big Brother” centers on a mysterious figure in black who, every full moon, viciously attacks a person before vanishing into the night. The victims, all unpunished sexual offenders, are carefully selected.

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A detective and an investigative journalist team up to solve these crimes, while the story also unfolds from the perspective of this enigmatic assailant, who sees himself as an agent of justice for the victims failed by society.

Actor, producer, screenwriter and ACT4 co-founder Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“The Tourist,” “Severance”) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. He leads the writers room, which includes actress Aníta Briem who wrote and created the series “As Long as We Live” as well as Anna Gunndís Guðmundsdóttir and Teitur Magnússon.

Said Ólafsson: “As a crime fiction, the tale of ‘Big Brother’ is thrilling and brutal, a very suspenseful narrative. It rises above its genre as it poses a difficult question for our society: Someone is taking it upon himself to punish sexual offenders when our justice system fails. Gradually his actions become more brutal and he starts killing his victims. Who do we side with, the self-proclaimed warrior of justice or the people who are trying to catch a murderer?”

Darri Ólafsson and Skuli Sigurdsson
Darri Ólafsson and Skuli Sigurdsson

“We are excited to partner with ACT4 on the adaptation of Skuli Sigurdsson’s brilliantly crafted novel. The characters, the storytelling from two different points of view and the heightened suspense as the plot unfolds makes for a chilling, binge-worthy drama,” said Yi Qiao, director drama, ZDF Studios.

ACT4 was founded in 2023 by a group of award-winning Icelandic film industry veterans comprising Ólafsson (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “True Detective: Night Country,” “The Tourist”), Hörður Rúnarsson (“Black Sands,” “Fractures,” “Journey”), Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson (“The Minister” 1 & 2, “Stella Blómkvist II,” “Thin Ice”) and Birkir Blær Ingólfsson (“The Minister” 1 & 2, “Thin Ice”).

Joining forces with a group of international investors, they built the new indie Nordic production powerhouse and optioned “Big Brother” last year as one of its first projects for the big screen.

Author Sigurdsson, a lawyer and former journalist, won the Icelandic Crime Novel Award and was nominated for the Glass Key Award.

In recent news, ZDF Studios teamed up with Spanish broadcaster RTVE and Galician production house Portocabo on the procedural “Weiss & Morales,” which began shooting in the Canary Islands last April.

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