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Persbrandt to play UN Secretary-General in war thriller Jadotville


- After leaving Beck, Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has landed roles in three major international productions

Persbrandt to play UN Secretary-General in war thriller Jadotville
Actor Mikael Persbrandt in Beck

Having left Beck – Sweden’s longest-running thriller series – Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has been signed up to play UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in Irish director Richie Smyth’s war thriller Jadotville.

He will also join Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, UK director Guy Ritchie’s new version of the Sir Lancelot story, with Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou in the cast. 

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And then, skipping from the 6th century to the 20th, he will star alongside Brendan Gleeson and Emma Thompson in Swiss director Vincent Pérez’s World War II drama Alone in Berlin [+see also:
film review
film profile
, based on German author Hans Fallada’s novel (see the news).

Persbrandt was due to perform as Beck’s (Peter Haber’s) sidekick, Gunvald Larsson, in the eight concluding episodes (of 34) of the Sjöwall and Wahlöö series, when it was announced earlier this year that he would be written out after four; instead, Norwegian Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju will play the new police officer on the team. 

Set in 1961, during the Congo crisis, Jadotville follows Irish general Pat Quinlan and his 150 troops, whom Hammarskjöld and the UN had sent to protect the city after Katanga’s breakaway. For six days and nights, they were attacked by 3,000 Congolese government soldiers who were supported by French and Belgian mercenaries hired by the mining companies.

The operation was to become Hammarskjöld’s last: on 18 September 1961, en route to ceasefire negotiations in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), he and his team were killed when their plane crashed near Ndola. Their Douglas DC-6 was not found until 15 hours after the accident; new theories suggest it was shot down. Hammarskjöld was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

According to Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper, principal photography for Jadotville has started, with Irish actor Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Fall) starring as Quinlan and French actor Guillaume Canet (Tell No One [+see also:
film profile
, The Beach) appearing as a French commander with the government troops. The film will shoot in Ireland and South Africa.

In addition, you can click here to read the news about the upcoming Swedish Hammarskjöld biopic.


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