The German production company Studio Hamburg FilmProduktion has optioned the television rights for Leena Lehtolainen’s Maria Kallio series. Now development starts and according to a preliminary schedule, Studio Hamburg hopes to start shooting in Winter 2014, with the plan being to air the series in both Germany and Finland.
Kerstin Ramcke, producer:” We are very proud to have the opportunity to work with the excellent stories of Leena Lehtolainen. Maria Kallio is a thrilling and modern personality and will give an interesting impulse to our audience who already loves the novels. So we start this journey together with Hannu Salonen, writer and director, in order to produce a high class crime series.”
”Leena Lehtolainen has a very strong foothold in Germany, where the publishing company Rowohlt has published all the novels in the Maria Kallio series. The television series will increase the popularity of the Maria Kallio novels in Germany and Finland,” says Elina Ahlbäck, Lehtolainen’s literary agent at Elina Ahlbäck Literary Agency with excitement.
With her books generating great interest worldwide, Leena Lehtolainen has received numerous invitations to promotional events in different countries. The author has just returned from The Shanghai Literary Festival and Beijing Literary Festival, where she promoted Finnish crime literature in general and presented Maria Kallio series to the Chinese readers.
”I’m very pleased that readers round the world find my novels interesting. Germany has been an important country for me for a long time and German readers are close to my heart. It is fantastic that Maria Kallio’s adventures will soon be seen on television there as well,” explains Lehtolainen.
The beginning of the Maria Kallio series dates back to 1993 when the first installment My First Murder (Ensimmäinen murhani) was published by Tammi Publishers. For the last 20 years, Lehtolainen’s crime novels have featured among the most popular books in Finland. In March 2013, The Maria Kallio Companion (Maria Kallio –Extra) was published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the crime series, giving the reader an insight into the world of Maria Kallio, to her career path and numerous other topics related to the novels. The 12th Maria Kallio thriller, Iron Triangle (Rautakolmio), will be published in August 2013.
Leena Lehtolainen has published crime novels, collections of short stories and books for young people. The translation rights of her books have been sold in 29 languages and more than 2 million copies of her books have been sold worldwide.
Literary Agent Elina Ahlbäck, + 358 400 548 402 | elina.ahlback(a)ahlbackagency.com