The 6 half-hour episodes comedy series set to start filming January 22, 2018 in Norway, will follow-up on the irreverent humour and spirit of Norsemen, but set in a sci-fi/crime contemporary universe instead of the Viking era.

The main character Magnus is an eccentric former police investigator who goes undercover, disguised as a chest of drawers, to solve a murder case, with the help of Dan, a suicidal and easily-swayed police colleague. The two throw themselves into an investigation that includes a traumatised Polish construction worker, mysterious farmers, an unstable fangirl, a secret military operation, corrupt policemen and the odd troll.

The show produced by Viafilm’s Anders Tangen, will target the younger age audience, fans of Stranger Things or Daredevil, with a character-driven plot and sophisticated VFX.

Magnus is created by London-trained Norwegian actor Vidar Magnussen (Side by Side, Norsemen), director as well of the sold out Norwegian version of the musical The Book of Mormon. Magnussen will play the title role of Magnus, with theatre actor Pål Rønning starring as Magnus’ side-kick Dan. The experienced director Geir Henning Hopland (Lilyhammer, Acquitted) is attached to the entire show.

Dual version recipe
Viafilm will apply for the third time their dual filming winning recipe in English and in Norwegian, which allows them to by-pass the remake option, to launch Scandi talent on the international market while keeping costs down. The full budget for the double version of Magnus’ is around €2.6m.

The dual language method was used most recently by Viafilm on their romantic comedy One Night, pitched successfully at the last C21 Drama Summit in London.

The series follows Elisabeth and Jonas, each bruised by life and past relationships, as they spend an entire night on a blind date, discovering each other weaknesses and charm. MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) plays Elisabeth in both English and Norwegian versions, while Anders Baasmo Christiansen (Kon-Tiki. The King’s Choice) plays Jonas in the Norwegian version and the fluent English-speaking Icelandic actor Gísli Örn Garðarsson (Prisoners, Beowulf: return to the Shieldlands) stars in the English version.

Tangen says the filming in dual language and in real life, was particularly challenging for MyAnna Buring who had to remember her lines in the two languages. “Shooting the two versions, means that some days we would shoot in English in the morning, the Norwegian in the afternoon, or we could shoot the two versions at the same, or we had one full day in English and one full day in Norwegian,” explains Tangen.

Paris-based Federation Entertainment has boarded the 10x26’ series One Night as co-producer and international distributor and their investment has allowed Viafilm to add an extra 10 days to the 39-days shoot. “As producers and distributors, they understand our needs and are fantastic partners,” said Tangen to The show by Dag creator Øystein Karlsen, co-written with Kristopher Schau, will premiere on NRK in 2018.

As for Viafilm’s inaugural dual language show Norsemen, season 1 is turning into an international cult series on Netflix, number 8 of the top international drama series of 2017 for The New York Times and top 29 of all drama series of 2017 for The Guardian. Season 2 kick started on NRK last month with TSR (total screen rating) of 721,000 for episode 1; season 3 will start shooting in August 2018.