Branagh On “Wallander” & Belfast Drama

The newly knighted Kenneth Branagh returns as grizzled and brooding Swedish detective Kurt Wallander to UK screens soon (best guess is July) for a third series of “Wallander” based on two of the novels and one of the short stories by Henning Mankell.

Speaking about the three telemovies with The Guardian, the main arc for this series will be Wallander’s relationship with his adult daughter after the death of his father (David Warner).

Branagh says he hopes to turn the remaining two key novels – ‘The White Lioness’ and ‘The Troubled Man’ – into the basis for a fourth and final series.

“We’ve been talking of doing The Troubled Man [Mankell’s recent and final Wallander mystery] in two parts, maybe with The White Lioness as well. That might provide a strong arc over what would probably be the final three English Wallanders. That would be my instinct” says Branagh.

“The Avengers” star Tom Hiddleston will not be back in his role from the first two series, but Rebekah Staton (“No Heroics”) and Mark Hadfield (“Law & Order: UK”) have joined the cast.

While Branagh’s still developing Mankell’s non-detective novel “Italian Shoes” into a feature, he’s now interested in doing a loosely autobiographical drama about the Belfast he grew up in during the 1960s, right at the start of ‘The Troubles’.

“What’s always appealed to me was to tell a story about my own experience: a generational thing about my time in Belfast, a particular slice of dockside, working-class, Protestant life. I have an almost photographic recall of seeing Bernadette Devlin [the republican activist and MP] on television in the riots, and what all of that was doing to our family and all of those around us” says Branagh.