MEDIA RELEASE: Icelandic political drama The Minister returns for second season
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and Aníta Briem lead ensemble cast; production
of eight-part series due to start in July
Sagafilm, the thriving Icelandic company behind Stella Blomkvist and Operation Napoleon, and Cineflix Rights have announced the second season of hit political drama The Minister. The 8×60’ series has been commissioned by Iceland’s RUV together with DR (Denmark), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway), and YLE (Finland).
Cineflix Rights has exclusive worldwide distribution rights to The Minister and has presold Season Two to Viaplay for its streaming platforms in the UK and Germany, with further deals currently in negotiation. Season One of the series sold to broadcasters and streamers alongside Viaplay including SBS (Australia), AMC Networks International Southern Europe, HBO Max (Nordics), Topic (US and Canada), Filmin (Spain), TVO (Canada), Canal+ (Czech Republic and Slovakia), and Hot (Israel).
The Minister stars Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Trapped, True Detective, The Missing) as Benedikt Ríkharðsson, the Icelandic Prime Minister whose medical condition threatens the stability of the government and the private lives of the team around him. Anita Briem (Salt and Fire, You, Me & The Circus) reprises her role as Steinunn, the woman behind husband Benedikt’s success and his political career.
After the dramatic finale of Season One, in which he publicly reveals his bipolar disorder to the entire nation, Benedikt is back and this time he wants to change the country’s approach to mental health. However, branded as the poster child for mental illness, it proves difficult for Benedikt to find his feet. Meanwhile there is a power struggle within the political system, with individuals from different factions competing to take control, and willing to stop at nothing to get their way. Benedikt becomes caught up in the whirlwind of power struggles while trying to fix what is most important to him, his own and other people’s mental health.
The Minister II will see the return of some familiar faces from season one such as Thorvaldur Kristjansson (The Swan, Dracula Untold) and Joel Sæmundsson (Blackport, Trapped).
Season Two of The Minister is written by Birkir Blær and Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson. It is directed by Arnór Pálmi Arnarson and Katrín Björgvinsdóttir and produced by Hlín Jóhannesdóttir with Executive Producers Kjartan Thor Thordarson, Hilmar Sigurdsson, Ragnar Agnarsson and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
Kjartan Thor Thordarson, CEO of Sagafilm Nordic and Executive Producer of the series said: “We were thrilled with the reception for the first season of The Minister, and we are excited to be able to bring fans a new installment. Benedikt is back, but now the nation and the other world leaders know about his medical condition, how will he find a way back into top-level politics when he’s been deemed unfit to rule? It’s a dilemma relevant to viewers in many different countries.”
James Durie, Head of Scripted, Cineflix Rights added: “After the success of the first season, we are delighted that the many fans of The Minister around the world will be able to continue to follow the stories of Benedikt, Steinunn and the schemers and plotters around them in such a sharply written drama which touches on so many contemporary issues.”