Finnish Fire Monkey Takes Enemy of the People to Mipcom, Reveals Full Slate (EXCLUSIVE)
Mikko Pöllä and Roope Lehtinen, seasoned Finnish showrunners and co-founders of Fire Monkey (“White Wall,” “Bad Apples”), are bringing to market a handful of premium dramas in post and development.
Headlining their production slate under REinvent’s sales banner is the thriller “Enemy of the People,” from “Man in Room 301” helmer Mikko Kuparinen, currently in post.
Co-created by Lehtinen and Timo Varpio (“Easy Living”), the eight-part TV show boasts a stellar cast, including Kreeta Salminen (“All the Sins,” “Man in Room 301”), Mikko Nousiainen (“Peacemaker”), Tobias Zilliacus (“Beartown”), and Johannes Holopainen (“All the Sins”).
Co-penned by Varpio and Fire Monkey’s in-house writer Laura Suhonen, the thriller explores investigative reporting in an era of trolls and fake news. After writing a critical piece about the local town’s soccer star and biggest celebrity, involved in a dubious business scheme, reporter Katja Salonen finds herself drawn into a whirlpool of lies, deceit and abuse of power, in the middle of which lies a deadly conspiracy and an unsolved murder.
Former journalist Lehtinen said he and Varpio developed the idea back in 2018. “During the Trump madness, Brexit and with fake news making headlines, we felt it would be great to deal with such issues in a post-truth world, where people don’t want to understand or hear the truth,” he said. “It’s a crime thriller, but instead of a cop investigating with a gun, you have a journalist investigating with a pen,” notes Lehtinen.
Ordered by Finnish commercial TV and streaming service C More/MTV3, the series will be delivered Q1 2022.
“Enemy of the People” is quintessentially a Fire Monkey show: high concept, relevant for local and global viewers, tackling a topical issue that both Lehtinen and Pöllä are passionate about. “There is so much content out there; we believe that if our shows have a specific theme that we feel passionate about, then hopefully audiences as well will feel engaged, said Pöllä, who co-wrote the “Angry Birds Movie,” and co-created the hit show “Black Widows” with Lehtinen, former honcho of Moskito Television.
Helsinki-based Fire Monkey’s roster takes in two other projects in development, both executive produced by Lehtinen. First up is the six-part suspense drama “Seconds” commissioned by Finnish pubcaster Yle, to be pitched at Rome’s MIA Market (Oct. 13-17).
Scribe Suhonen has developed the show as a three-season drama following accident investigator Marita Kaila. Her job is to solve the mysteries behind major disasters to ensure those will never happen again. She is superb at her job, but her emotional well-being is at risk. Each season will feature a new case, with the opening one focusing on a major train accident. “We have three episodes written and are negotiating with distributors,” said Pöllä, who will be pitching the project in Rome.
Also in development is the eight-part crime drama “Cream,” just greenlit by C More/MTV3. Creator/writer Pöllä said it’s a YA crime show with a social angle.
Riku, 24, who lives in poor neighbourhood, infiltrates a group of young rich elite in order to take revenge and rob them. Before long, he falls in love with one of his marks: Linda, 26, heiress to an industrial fortune. Production is scheduled to bow in the fall 2022.
Fire Monkey’s psycho thriller “Bad Apples,” which premiered on Finland’s leading streamer Elisa Viihde/Viaplay in May, is repped globally by Mediawan Group’s LS Distribution.
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