VARIETY: Dramacorp-Pampas, CMore/TV4, Beta Team on ‘Hamilton’ Series with Jakob Oftebro
January 31, 2018. Newly-formed joint venture Dramacorp-Pampas Studios is set to produce an international spy thriller series based on Swedish author Jan Guillou's "Hamilton" books – considered Scandinavia's most successful literary property of all time.
Rising Norwegian star Jakob Oftebro, whose credits include Oscar-nominated epic "Kon-Tiki," "1864," and the hit series "Below the Surface," will star as Swedish intelligence officer Carl Hamilton, who was trained by the U.S. Navy Seals to become part of an illegal black ops cell within the Swedish military.
Guillou wrote the 12 "Hamilton" novels after being imprisoned for espionage because he had exposed a similar illegal spy organization within the Swedish military.
Beta Film has acquired international sales to "Hamilton," which will be directed by Denmark's Kasper Barfoed ("Below The Surface"). Petter S. Rosenlund, head writer of NRK's award-winning thriller "The Heavy Water War" ("Saboteurs") is lead-writing the series. Swedish broadcaster TV4 and its SVOD service CMore have commissioned the first two seasons of the show.
"We have had our eyes on Jakob for a long time, and finally we found the right project for him! He is one of Scandinavia's most talented actors and perfect for the part as he will give us the young Hamilton," said Josefine Tengblad, head of drama at CMore and TV4. "With the reboot of Hamilton and its international setting, we have the potential of taking a well-renowned and loved Scandinavian brand to a new level."
Tengblad pointed out the "Hamilton" books were a "huge brand, ranking as the most popular spy thrillers in Nordic history with more than 10 million copies sold across the region." "We envision 'Hamilton' as an espionage thriller like 'The Night Manager' in the way that it reflects what's going on in the world," said the exec. The series also underscores CMore and TV4's ambition to ramp up significantly its slate of original drama series and its ambition to work with international partners on higher-budgeted, premium content.
"Hamilton" will start filming in the second quarter of 2018 in Sweden and other European locations. The series will premiere exclusively on Swedish streaming service CMore next year, with a later linear airing on TV4 and ZDF in Germany.
"Hamilton" is produced by Stockholm-based Dramacorp-Pampas Studios, a joint venture between veteran TV executive Rolf Sohlman's IP-rights company IRLC, and Dramacorp, which was launched in April 2016 by Patrick Nebout, producer of the SVT-Canal Plus thriller "Midnight Sun," and Beta Films' Jan Mojto.
"'Hamilton' will not be a classic Scandinavian crime series; it will be the first true international spy thriller series coming out of Scandinavia, in the vein of 'Three Days of the Condor' or 'All the President's Men,'" said Nebout.
The producer said the series reboot will be a "high-concept, character-driven drama opening in Sweden and taking place across different countries, notably in Russia and Israel."
Jens Alex, CEO of IRLC, said the series will mark the first adaptation of "Hamilton" into a long-form serialized format. "We are already planning for further seasons and we're thrilled to have Patrick Nebout, with his strong track-record of international high-end projects drive this massive spy-thriller property," said Alex.
Over the last 25 years, the Hamilton books have been adapted into two films, in 1989 and 1992, which toplined Stellan Skarsgård ("Nymphomaniac").