Nordisk Film announces cast and director for THE MARCO EFFECT


Ulrich Thomsen and Zaki Youssef are to star in THE MARCO EFFECT based on Jussi Adler-Olsen’s bestselling novel, directed by Oscar nominated Martin Zandvliet and produced by Mikael Rieks for Nordisk Film Production.

Nordisk Film announces today that Ulrich Thomsen (BANSHEE, IN A BETTER WORLD, THE CELEBRATION) and Zaki Youssef (SONS OF DENMARK, THE LOOMING TOWER) will star in Danish language crime thriller-drama THE MARCO EFFECT based on Jussi Adler-Olsen’s fifth novel in the international bestselling DEPARTMENT Q series. Thomsen will play detective Carl Mørck and Youssef his assistant Assad. THE MARCO EFFECT is the first in a series of six DEPARTMENT Q films planned by Nordisk Film in co-production with Peter Nadermann’s Nadcon Film from Germany.   

Martin Zandvliet (LAND OF MINE) will direct with Mikael Rieks (LAND OF MINE, THAT TIME OF YEAR) producing for Nordisk Film Production. They have previously worked together on APPLAUSE, A FUNNY MAN and the Oscar nominated LAND OF MINE. The script is written by Anders August (A FORTUNATE MAN, SUMMER OF ’92, A FUNNY MAN) and newcomer Thomas Porsager. Principal photography on THE MARCO EFFECT is set to begin in January 2020 with an expected local release in October 2020. 

Revolving around the unorthodox detective Carl Mørck, who with his assistant Assad heads up a cold case division named ‘Department Q’, the bestselling and award-winning books about DEPARTMENT Q are translated into more than 40 languages and have sold more than 23 million copies worldwide. In THE MARCO EFFECT, a 12-year-old gypsy boy named Marco is on the run, and he is the key to uncovering a story of multinational corruption on government funds earmarked for development aid in Africa. In a race against time, Carl Mørck and Assad find themselves confronted by cynical, powerful ringleaders and a brutal gang who are also on the hunt for Marco. 

“With Ulrich Thomsen as Carl Mørck and Zaki Youssef as Assad we have a very strong main cast for THE MARCO EFFECT and other future DEPARTMENT Q films. Ulrich Thomsen is an extremely versatile and experienced actor who has made a strong impact in Danish and international films and TV series and paired with emerging talent Zaki Youssef we have an exciting and interesting team in place”, said Mikael Rieks. 

“Jussi Adler-Olsen’s DEPARTMENT Q series has spellbound millions of readers across the world, and we are proud that he has put his trust in us at Nordisk Film in turning THE MARCO EFFECT into a high-quality thriller-drama with international scope”, Rieks added. 

Seven DEPARTMENT Q novels have already been published with volume eight out in Denmark later this month. Author Jussi Adler-Olsen has planned that the series will comprise ten novels in total. Nordisk Film Production has acquired the film rights to the fifth book (THE MARCO EFFECT) as well as the rights to the remaining five books in the series.   

“THE MARCO EFFECT is an attempt to show how corruption and greed affects the Western World. The story is more relevant now than ever. I look forward to seeing it turned into film and commence my collaboration with Nordisk Film and the entire team with great openness and curiosity”, commented Jussi Adler-Olsen.

Photo: Jasper Skanning