Popular series of Estonian novels with Apothecary Melchior set for film and TV adaptation
by Laurence Boyce
01/08/2012 - Estonian based production company Exit Film is in the final stages of preparations to bring wildly popular character Melchior to the screen with a proposed feature film and six-part TV series.
The films are to be based upon Indrek Hargla's best-selling crime novels set in the 15th century Tallinn about Melchior, a renowned young pharmacist who solves murder mysteries in the city. Utilising many of the famous landmarks of Tallinn, the books have found a place in the heart of Estonians thanks to their heady blend of history, crime and melodrama. The producers hope that the latest series of adaptations will not only prove a draw to Estonian audiences eager to see their favourite character in a new medium but also to international audiences interested in watching crime dramas that are created outside of the US and UK.
The first installment in the series is planned to be the feature film Melchior and the St. Olaf's Mystery, with the script – being written in collaboration with original author Hargla (photo) – currently in its third draft. The aim is for the film to be completed and screened in 2014. The feature, with an estimated budget of €1.5-2 million, is intended to also work as a pilot for the TV series. Should this prove successful, there are also plans to branch the character out into other media including games.