AURORA STUDIOS OPTIONS FILM & TV RIGHTS TO ‘WHEN THE KING DIES’!

We are very happy to announce that Film & TV Rights to Elina Backman’s bestselling thriller WHEN THE KING DIES have been optioned by Aurora Studios to be developed into an international TV series.

Published by Otava in Finland in May 2020 to excellent reviews and immediately hitting the bestseller lists, WHEN THE KING DIES has already been sold to 10 territories and counting. Rights are still free for example in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, Latvia and in English-speaking territories.

Elina Backman is now writing a sequel, THE ISLE OF SHEEP, to be published in June 2021.

Aurora Studios owner Ari Tolppanen, CEO Antti Toiviainen and Creative Director Roosa Toivonen are thrilled to start this adventure with author Elina Backman: “Utterly readable and full of plot twists and quirky characters, WHEN THE KING DIES is an ideal starting point for a TV series that keeps audiences at the edge of their seat and leaves them hungry for more. Luckily, a sequel is already in the works by the promising author!”

“I love Finland – its own unique voice and beautiful landscapes – and I love murder mysteries. I believe that together with Aurora Studios we will create something special. The last months have been amazing: As a debut author this is a dream come true for me to be able to share my crime story with global readers.” – Author Elina Backman

About Aurora Studios:
Aurora Studios was started in June 2020 to enable and assist the creation of commercially and artistically ambitious films and audiovisual content through development, financing and distribution. Its owners are Finnish media company The Otava Group and Ari Tolppanen and Ari Lahti, the investors behind the financing of Finnish audience phenomenon The Unknown Soldier.

About the book:
Saana is a former click-bait journalist who spends a summer in the quiet town of Hartola. But when she begins to dig into the case of a teenage girl who died 30 years earlier, the peace of the small town is shaken. Meanwhile in Helsinki, crime investigator Jan Leino is solving a murder at the King’s Gate on Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. Saana and Jan continue working on their own cases until their paths cross – for more than one reason.

Rights sold:

FINLAND:
Otava (orig.)
ESTONIA:
Varrak (2-book deal)
CZECH REPUBLIC:
Grada
GERMANY:
Piper Verlag (2-book deal)
LITHUANIA:
BALTO
NETHERLANDS:
De Bezige Bij/Cargo
(2-book deal)
NORWAY:
Cappelen Damm (2-book deal)
POLAND:
Czarna Owca
SLOVAKIA:
Arkus
SWEDEN:
Bokfabriken (2-book deal)
TV/FILM:
Aurora Studios

Elina Backman


Elina Backman is a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki, in an old wooden 1920 house with a family of two kids and a husband. Elina loves books (all sorts), travelling, cycling and is a host of a Book & Wine Club. She is a creative soul with a commercial mind, and her goal is to find readers globally – her dream is a tv series based on her novels.

Her debut novel When the King Dies was published in May 2020 and has immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and becoming an immediate bestseller in Finland with 10,000 copies sold in all formats. When the King Dies has been to-date sold in 13 territories and international TV series is in development.

Bibliography


Elina Backman

Still Waters Run Deep (a.k.a The Isle of Sheep)

2021, Crime & Suspense


Elina Backman

All the King's Men (a.k.a. When the King Dies)

2020, Crime & Suspense

Related news

BREAKING HOLLYWOOD NEWS! GREG SILVERMAN’S STAMPEDE VENTURES ACQUIRES TV RIGHTS for MAX SEECK’S “THE FAITHFUL READER” + now 35 rights sold!

GREG SILVERMAN’S STAMPEDE VENTURES ACQUIRES TV RIGHTS for MAX SEECK’S “THE FAITHFUL READER” + now 35 rights sold!

Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures announced today that they have acquired best-selling author Max Seeck’s thriller The Faithful Reader (US title The Witch Hunter) for a TV series adaptation. The novel is a hot property ahead of its US release, with rights sold in 35+ countries, and its acquisition adds to the growing list of highly anticipated adaptations from Stampede Ventures.

Stampede Ventures is an independent entertainment media company founded by Greg Silverman, the former President of Warner Bros. Pictures. 

During his tenure at Warner Bros., Silverman oversaw some of the most popular and profitable movies of all time, including THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy, THE HANGOVER trilogy, INCEPTION, INTERSTELLAR, THE LEGO MOVIE, and THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE. Mr. Silverman also oversaw the revitalized DC franchise titles MAN OF STEEL, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, SUICIDE SQUAD, and WONDER WOMAN.

 “Max is a true master of suspense and when we read THE FAITHFUL READER it was clear that this was meant to be a drama series full of sharp twists and surprises. He’s drawn a dark and terrifying world with a mysterious lead in the center of the storm. This one will keep you up at night,” said JP Sarni, Stampede Ventures’ Head of International Content and Worldwide Content Acquisitions.

Read more from Hollywood’s Deadline.

Join the success story of FAITHFUL READER and click here to request the full English manuscript.

This week the thriller also sold Icelandic, Portuguese, Albanian and Arabic rights, now 35 rights sold since August!

Albanian rights were acquired by Muza, Icelandic by Forlagid, Portuguese rights bought in an auction by Bertrand Editora and Arabic rights bought in an auction by Arab Scientific Publishers!

Congratulations, Max!  FAITHFUL READER will be now published in 35 territories and counting!

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)

TV RIGHTS: Stampede Ventures

ALBANIA: Muza
ARABIC: Arab Scientific Publishers (World Arabic)
BELGIUM, A.W. Bruna (2-book deal)
BULGARIA: EMAS (2-book-deal)
CANADA: Berkley/Penguin Random House (2-book-deal)
CROATIA: Fokus
CZECH REPUBLIC: Grada (2-book-deal)
ESTONIA: Pegasus (2-book-deal)
ICELAND: Forlagid
ISRAEL: Tchelet Books
ITALY: Piemme/Mondadori
FRANCE: Michel Lafon (2-book-deal)
GERMANY: Bastei Lübbe (2-book-deal)
GREECE: Livani (2-book-deal)
HUNGARY: Animus (2-book-deal)
KOREA: Cheongmirae
LATVIA: Latvijas Mediji (2-book-deal)
LITHUANIA: Baltos lankos
MACEDONIA: Matica (2-book-deal)
NETHERLANDS: A.W. Bruna (2-book-deal)
NORWAY: Aschehoug (2-book-deal)
POLAND: Sonia Draga (2-book-deal)
PORTUGAL: Bertrand Editora (2-book-deal)
ROMANIA: Litera (2-book-deal)
RUSSIA: AST
SERBIA: Vulkan (2-book-deal)
SLOVENIA: Didakta (2-book-deal)
SLOVAKIA: Motýľ
SPAIN: Editorial Maeva/Maeva Noir
SWEDEN: Albert Bonniers Förlag
TURKEY: Doğan Kitap
UNITED KINGDOM: Welbeck Publishing UK (2-book deal)
UNITED STATES: Berkley/Penguin Random House (2-book-deal)

Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author


Max Seeck - New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

Max Seeck is currently finalizing the third book of the Jessica Niemi series, which is to be published in Finland in September 2021.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.

Bibliography


Max Seeck

Bad Blood

2021, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Ice Coven (a.k.a. Evil's Net)

2020, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Witch Hunter (a.k.a. Faithful Reader)

2019, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Mephisto Touch

2018, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Call of Hades

2018, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

Angels of Hammurabi

2016, Crime & Suspense

Related news

Film News: The Memory of Water receives production support

We are thrilled to share exciting film news for Memory of Water, based on the novel by Emmi Itäranta!

Production company Bufo received production support for their dystopian drama Memory of Water, based on a novel by Emmi Itäranta. Saara Saarela will direct, with Misha Jaari and Mark Lwoff as producers. The film has already participated in Frontières Fantasia and Ties That Bind.

Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja, Teos 2012) tells the story of seventeen-year-old Noria, set to become the next tea master in her village. The story is set in a drought-ravaged, war-ridden future world where fresh water has become the privilege of a few and tea masters have been the keepers of natural springs for centuries. Rights are sold in 23 territories and counting!

Read more from here: Finnish Film Foundation production support.

Rights sold:

FINLAND, Teos (Orig. publisher)
ARABIC, Dar Al Muna
BRAZIL, Record
BULGARIA, Perseus
CHINA, Sichuan People’s Publishing House
CZECH REPUBLIC, Albatros Media/Plus
DENMARK, Turbine
ESTONIA, Koolibri
FRANCE, Place des Editeurs
GEORGIA, Palitra L Publishing
GERMANY, DTV/Reihe Hanser
HUNGARY, Metropolis Media
ITALY, Piemme
JAPAN, Nishimura Shoten
KOREA, The Book in My Life
LATVIA, Janis Roze
LITHUANIA, Nieko Rimto
NORWAY, Gresvik Forlag
RUSSIA, Text Publishers
SPAIN, Ediciones B.
SWEDEN, Modernista
TURKEY, Dogan Egmont
WORLD ENGLISH, HarperCollins

FILM RIGHTS, Bufo

Emmi Itäranta


Emmi Itäranta (b.1976) holds two MA degrees, one in Drama and another in Creative Writing. Her award-winning debut novel Memory of Water (Teemestarin kirja) was published in Finland in 2012 to great accolades, followed by The Weaver (Kudottujen kujien kaupunki) in 2015. Her latest novel The Moonday Letters was published in September 2020.

Itäranta’s writing has been compared to that of Ursula K. Le Guin. Her honours include the Young Aleksis Kivi Prize 2013, the Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize 2012 and first place in the Teos Fantasy and Sci-Fi Literary Contest 2011.

Memory of Water was sold to 21 languages to date, and it has also been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award recognizing the best science fiction novel published in the UK in 2014, and the Golden Tentacle award. In addition, Itäranta has been included on the Honor List of the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

Itäranta’s cv is an eclectic mix of writing-related activities, including stints as a columnist, theatre critic, press officer and dramaturge. Her poems, short stories, articles and essays have appeared in anthologies, film magazines and science fiction magazines in the UK and Finland. She now lives in Finland after 14 years in the United Kingdom.

Bibliography


Emmi Itäranta

Moonday Letters

2020, Fantasy & Science Fiction


Emmi Itäranta

The Weaver

2015, Fantasy & Science Fiction


Emmi Itäranta

Memory of Water

2012, Fantasy & Science Fiction

Related news

Breaking news for Monster Nanny feature film: Screen Australia invests in development

The wheels are turning with the Monster Nannyfeature film! This family film co-produced by Ridley Scott has received development funding from Screen Australia.

“The monstrous Mary Poppins”, a universally charming award-winning story by Tuutikki Tolonen, published in 22 territories, is being developed into a Hollywood feature film by Scott Free Productions.

“Scott Free Productions’ Ridley Scott and Red Lamp Films’ Sylvia Wilczynski and writer-director Kim Mordaunt are working on the adaptation of Finnish novel Monster Nanny, an action adventure about children whose nanny is a hairy, dusty non-talkative monster. Animal Logic Entertainment’s Zareh Nalbandian is also involved in the project which is intended to be an Australian-UK co-production.”

Read the full article here.

The novel’s English-language edition has received great reviews in the media, among others in Booklist:

“The first in a duology, Tuutikki’s book won the Arvid Lydecken prize in Finland and will have wide appeal among young readers. Within its pages, children outsmart adults, sense the vulnerable emotions of the monsters, and come to depend upon themselves and new friends. Loose-lined ink illustrations add extra humor to this imaginative fantasy, and plentiful dialogue makes it prime for reading aloud.”
— Booklist

Request reading materials here!

Rights sold: Monster Nanny
Orig. publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
BOSNIA, Šahinpašić
BRAZIL, DarkSide Books
CHINA, Beijing Children’s Publishing House
CZECH REPUBLIC, Portál
ESTONIA, Tiritamm
FRANCE, Editions Robert Laffont
GERMANY, Carl Hanser Verlag
HUNGARY, Tessloff Babilon
ITALY, Salani/Mauri Spagnol
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
NETHERLANDS, Luitingh-Sijthoff
NORWAY, Gyldendal Norsk
ROMANIA, Editura Univers
RUSSIA, Rosman
SLOVENIA, Mladinska knjiga
SPAIN (Spanish), La Galera
SPAIN (Catalan), La Galera
SWEDEN, Rabén & Sjögren
TURKEY, SEV Redhouse Kidz
VIETNAM, Nha Nam
WORLD ENGLISH, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FILM RIGHTS, Scott Free Productions

Tuutikki Tolonen


Tuutikki Tolonen is the author of several acclaimed children’s books, plays and academic articles. For Monster Nanny she received the Arvid Lydecken award. She teaches creative writing and has worked as an editor and reporter at Vinski, Finland’s only literary journal for children. Her inspiration for the Monster Nanny trilogy sparked during a family breakfast. “My son Leo, then six, said: ‘I heard on the radio yesterday that all moms have to go on vacation and monsters will take their places,” she says.

Tolonen is currently writing the Agnes series, of which the first book "Agnes and the Garden of Dreams" was in 2020 nominated for both Runeberg Junior and Arvid Lydecken Awards and won LukuVarkaus 2020 award!

Bibliography


Tuutikki Tolonen

Agnes and the Mysterious Manor

2021, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)


Tuutikki Tolonen

Monster Message

2020, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)


Tuutikki Tolonen

Agnes and the Garden of Dreams

2020, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)


Tuutikki Tolonen

Monster Route

2016, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)


Tuutikki Tolonen

Monster Nanny

2015, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Related news

Crime fiction news round-up of March

We’ve got some criminally good news! This time our news batch includes the best debut winner of the year, new titles in an exciting series and some film news…

The Debut Thriller of the Year Award 2018 to Heikki Valkama for his novel Fugu
Quoting the jury: “Heikki Valkama’s novel Fugu takes the reader on an interesting and appetizing cultural journey. […] For his novel Valkama has chosen a particularly interesting protagonist: a top chef is not your typical crime-solving character. […] Valkama delivers the story naturally and surely. The text is smooth, it doesn’t falter and sweeps the reader away with an ease. Fugu is an exceptionally developed example of entertaining writing.”

Request reading materials


Max Seeck’s The Angels of Hammurabi published in Germany
Max Seeck’s novel has been well received in Germany, where it was published under the name of Der gesetzlose Richter (“The Lawless Judge”) in January. The Finnish readers are already anticipating his third and final novel in the Daniel Kuisma series, the title of which will be Hades Calling, and it’s due to be published in Finland in fall 2018.

The Austrian newspaper Wiener Zeitung called the novel cinematic in its review:
“Max Seeck delves deep into the bloody history of the Balkans and tells a gory action thriller begging to be filmed.”

Request reading materials


The Guardian Angel film gets more distribution deals
The Guardian Angel, the novel by Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier based on an international feature film set to premiere in 2018-2019 with a star-studded line-up, keeps gathering interest. After Berlinale Film Festival, more distribution deals have been confirmed for the movie.

Nationwide film distribution deals have been closed in France, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Poland, India, China, Japan, and the Middle East. Further distribution deals will be announced soon!

Request reading materials

RIGHTS SOLD – Fugu by Heikki Valkama:
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. Publisher)

RIGHTS SOLD – The ‘Daniel Kuisma’ series by Max Seeck:
FINLAND, Tammi (Orig. Publisher)
ESTONIA, Pegasus
GERMANY, Blanvalet
ICELAND, Forlagid
ITALY, Newton Compton

RIGHTS SOLD – The Guardian Angel by Arto Halonen & Kevin Frazier:
FINLAND, WSOY (Orig. publisher)
DENMARK, Hr. Ferdinand
ITALY, Edizioni Piemme
SERBIA, Vulkan
PORTUGAL, Grupo Planeta