Home Entertainment Berlinale Series Market’s ‘Oxen’ From Emmy-Award Winners Mai Brostrøm, Peter Thorsboe Sells...

Berlinale Series Market’s ‘Oxen’ From Emmy-Award Winners Mai Brostrøm, Peter Thorsboe Sells Wide for REinvent (EXCLUSIVE)

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Copenhagen-based sales and financing outlet REinvent has inked major deals on the Danish/German thriller “Oxen”, ahead of its screening Feb. 19 as part of the Berlinale Series Market Selects label.

The show, produced by Scandi major SF Studios with Germany’s Square One for TV2 Denmark and ZDF, has been acquired by GSN Networks for the UK, AMC for Spain/Portugal as well as Orion Group for Poland.

An earlier pre-sale was closed with Lumière for Benelux: Further deals are pending for the U.S. and Latin America according to REinvent.

 Powered by a stellar creative team including helmer Jannik Johansen (“Borgen,” “White Night”), Emmy-award winning duo Mai Brostrøm and Peter Thorsboe (“Protectors,” “Unit One”), who wrote the screenplay based on Jens Henrik Jensen’s best-selling book series, “Oxen” was one of the biggest series on Danish television in 2023. Launched late October, it averaged 1.3 million consolidated viewers on TV2 Denmark.

Jacob Lohmann (“Shorta,” “Riders of Justice”) plays the title role as veteran Niels Oxen, a former special forces soldier struggling with his inner demons, who is drawn into a series of gruesome murders linked to a shadowy cabal of powerful Danes. Completing the cast are Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (“Borgen”, “Pitch Perfect 2”), Ellen Hillingsø (“Rita”) and Josephine Park (“The Nurse”).

Discussing the show, Johansen, who helmed the full series, said he was first attracted to the “density, almost impenetrable nature of the plot as well as the duality in many of the characters. “The fact that you didn’t really know which side they were on, if they were good or bad – or maybe both, raised for me interesting questions about loyalty,” he said.

Visually, Johansen and his cinematographer Mathias Troelstrup first turned for inspiration to American conspiracy thrillers from the ‘70s such as Alan Pakula’s “The Parallax View” or “All the Presidents’ Men,” as well as David Fincher’s “Zodiak” and “Mindhunter.” 

“I love the way he makes things seem real, naturalistic, even in scenes that are meant to be atrocious,” said the Danish writer-director who aimed for simplicity, few camera movements and close-ups reduced to the bare necessity.

“Oxen” is due to premiere on ZDF March 4, 2024. Other premium shows on REinvent’s Berlinale lineup include Norwegian suspense thriller “Fatal Crossing” from “Outlier” producers, and the upcoming Finnish suspense drama “Seconds,” produced by Fire Monkey for pubcasters YLE in Finland and NDR in Germany.