Mankell passed away in his sleep in Gothenburg, Sweden, aged 67, following a battle with cancer.

He is best known for creating police detective Kurt Wallander for a series of crime novels released between 1991 and 2009.

Branagh portrayed the character in the British TV adaptation of the same name, which began in 2008.

"In life and in art Henning Mankell was a man of passionate commitment. I will miss his provocative intelligence and his great personal generosity," Branagh says.

"Aside from his stringent political activism, and his decades of work in Africa, he also leaves an immense contribution to Scandinavian literature. His loving family, and those privileged to know him, together with readers from all over the world, will mourn a fine writer and a fine man."

The acting veteran has reprised the role for another series, which will air later this year (15).

He adds, "I always approach each series of Wallander with anticipation and excitement, but this last series of films contain some of the greatest challenges the character has ever faced. It's a privilege to try to meet them, and I look forward to a great Swedish autumn working on Henning Mankell's masterly creation."