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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Sweden

Jonas Åkerlund to direct the TV series Clark

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- The new six-episode drama, announced by Netflix yesterday, will star Bill Skarsgård in the role of “celebrity gangster” Clark Olofsson

Jonas Åkerlund to direct the TV series Clark
Director Jonas Åkerlund (© Henrik Halvarsson)

Yesterday, Netflix announced the making of a six-episode drama series about the life of Clark Olofsson, a Swedish criminal who has been referred to as a “celebrity gangster”. The new project commissioned by the Los Gatos-based streaming giant will be directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and drummer Jonas Åkerlund. Åkerlund, who is best known as a music-video director, recently worked on the thriller Polar (2019), which starred Mads Mikkelsen in the role of a retired assassin who finds himself on the receiving end of a hit, contracted by his former employer.

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The script, based on Olofsson’s autobiography and penned by the director himself, alongside Fredrik Agetoft and Peter Arrhenius, will be shot in the Swedish language and will cover Clark’s early years until the present day. The notorious gangster started his criminal career in the 1960s and became one of his country’s most controversial personalities. Convicted of several counts of drug trafficking, attempted murder, assault, theft and dozens of bank robberies, he has spent more than half his life in jail, and has left behind a trail of trauma, heartbreak, disappointment and devastation. In the 1970s, Clark gave rise to the idea of the notorious Stockholm syndrome during a failed bank robbery in the Swedish capital – and since then has maintained his position as a celebrity criminal, fooling all of Sweden to fall in love with him, just like he desired. Olofsson will be played by Bill Skarsgård, who is best known for his role as Pennywise in the two chapters of the new It saga (2017-2019), helmed by Andy Muschietti.

Speaking about the project, director Jonas Åkerlund said: “Clark is a story about the most politically incorrect man, who lived the most politically incorrect life. These are the kinds of stories I always look for. It’s an ultra-violent, witty, emotional, real and surreal biography to put a face to the name of Stockholm syndrome, but it isn’t just about the Norrmalmstorg robbery. It’s about his whole life and what made him who he is, the truth and lies of his incredible career.”

Meanwhile, lead actor Bill Skarsgård added: “Clark Olofsson is, for good or bad, one of Sweden’s most colourful and fascinating individuals. I accept this challenge with a sense of delight mingled with terror, and think that with Jonas and Netflix at the helm, we can tell a groundbreaking story with a pace and madness we may not have seen on TV before. Clark’s life and history are so incredible and screwed up that it would even make Scorsese blush.”

Clark is being produced by Börje Hansson and Patrick Sobieski for Sweden’s Scandinavian Content Group. Hans Engholm, Jonas Åkerlund and Bill Skarsgård will serve as the executive producers, whilst Erich Hörtnagl will be the line producer. The film’s score has been entrusted to musician and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt, of the band Opeth.

The series will launch exclusively on Netflix. The release date is yet to be disclosed.

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