Advanced Television

Elisa Viihde commissions The Man Who Died

May 21, 2021

Elisa Viihde has commissioned a new original series, The Man Who Died which is based on the bestselling book of the same title by Antti Tuomainen, one of Finland’s most successful, international contemporary authors. Filming will begin in Hamina, Finland in June 2021 and Jussi Vatanen will star in the lead role. This six-episode series will be available to audiences via Elisa Viihde Viaplay in the autumn of 2022.

Antti Tuomainen’s crime fiction, The Man Who Died has been translated into seven languages since it was originally published in 2016, and has been nominated for several awards in the UK. The novel is being adapted for television by Markku Flink and Brendan Foley (Cold Courage). Foley has also written the script for the thriller. The TV series follows the storyline of the book, which tells of a mushroom entrepreneur, Jaakko Kaunismaa (Jussi Vatanen) from Hamina, who discovers he has been slowly poisoned and sets out to find his would-be murderer.

“Our investments in Finnish drama productions are continuing. The Man Who Died is a gripping thriller with elements of black comedy that tackles fundamental questions of life and death. We can’t wait to see director Samuli Valkama and the entire creative team’s view on Tuomainen’s bestseller,” says Ani Korpela, Elisa’s Chief Content Officer .

Samuli Valkama (Monday, The Three of Us) will direct a leading cast including actresses Saara Kotkanniemi and Sara Soulié.

This original series for Elisa Viihde is produced by ReelMedia Oy, which specialises in international quality dramas, and whose owners include Matila Röhr Productions Oy. The series will be co-produced by the German production company ndF. The series has been developed by Luminoir Oy. The Man Who Died will be produced in collaboration with Business Finland, Town of Hamina and the South East Finland Film Commission.

“The series The Man Who Died is a great source of joy and gratitude for me. I’m excited to see how the series will be received not only in Finland but also in Germany and in the UK, where the novel has received great reviews and attracted a large readership. An all-time mushroom summer is coming” says author Antti Tuomainen.

“I love Antti’s dark humour – it just jumps off the page. Sometimes moving from a book to a series feels like wrestling with a bear. But this is such a visual story with larger-than-life characters, that the scripts were a joy to write, particularly  at a time when the world needs all the joy it can get,” says screenwriter Brendan Foley.

“The Man Who Died is definitely one of the smartest and funniest novels I’ve read in years. While it is in one way the most Finnish of all stories, we think the characters also give it great international potential for people who like the quirky dark humour of the Coens or Wes Anderson.” comments the series producer Markku Flink.

“It’s a true pleasure to collaborate with talented partners like Reelmedia and Elisa Viihde on a series of this calibre. We firmly believe in the extraordinary story created by Antti Tuomainen. It works quite well with our international strategy and we are sure that this compelling series will make its way to entertaining worldwide audiences”, comments ndF’s Co-Managing Director Eric Welbers.

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