Ever since Felix Herngren and Pontus Edgren created “The Sunny Side” (Solsidan) TV series for Sweden’s TV4, they have been building on its triumph. Success has followed success for the founders of Stockholm-based FLX. Herngren, now creative director, and managing director-producer Edgren set up shop in 2012 with executive producer and showrunner Niclas Carlsson to become “a leading platform for top Scandinavian creators and producers to reach a global audience.”
Listed as one of the world’s top five commercial directors by the U.K.’s Gunn Report, actor-comedian, writer, director and producer Herngren had his breakthrough with SVT’s “Smash” series (1990). His first feature was “Adult Behavior” (1999’s Vuxna människor).
Prior to FLX, Edgren was managing director of Swedish production company Jarowskij, a leading Scandi comedy producer. A former management consultant at McKinsey & Co., he was also marketing director within the Modern Times Group.
With 20 years of experience as copywriter and creative director, developing some of Sweden’s most successful advertising campaigns, Carlsson was educated at Bergh’s School of Communication and is now writing scripts for TV series and executive producing. Originally set up by Herngren to produce commercials, FLX then added scripted and unscripted television and feature films to the roster. “Generating ideas, team scriptwriting and storytelling is the very core of what we do,” Edgren says.
Co-scripted, directed and starring Herngren, “The Sunny Side” ran for five years, with two season partly overseen by his director brother, Måns. They are both directing the first feature spinoff, also with Felix in the lead. SF Studios will release the film Dec. 1 in Sweden.
The first FLX series won several awards, and prizes are still coming, most recently on Sept. 1. The shingle took home Swedish Crystal TV trophies for drama.
The company’s first feature film, Felix Herngren’s 2013 “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” sold 1.6 million tickets in Scandinavia, grossed more than $50 million worldwide and was nominated for a makeup and hairstyling Oscar.
The Herngren brothers made the 2016 sequel “The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared,” also with Robert Gustafsson in the lead. The film sold nearly 700,000 tickets in Sweden.
Meanwhile, U.S. companies CBS Films and Gary Sanchez Prods. are preparing an American version of “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared,” also from Jonas Jonasson’s novel, with Will Ferrell in the lead and FLX co-producing.
“In general we aim to develop shows and premises with universal themes,” says Edgren, who has licensed remake rights for “The Bonus Family” to the U.S. (Mandeville), France (Federation Entertainment) and Germany (Betafilm), and “Trigger Men” to Anonymous Content in the U.S.
“The Bonus Family,” created by Felix, Clara and Moa Herngren based on their own experiences, has just premiered globally on Netflix, and a French version of “The Sunny Side” is set for M6.
The collaboration with Netflix will continue with “Quicksand,” the streaming service’s first original Swedish TV series, based on Malin Persson Giolito’s novel about a mass shooting in a Stockholm suburb, where a student is put on trial for murder.
Also in development are “Blinded,” an 8×45 min. finance thriller from Jesper Harrie, Maria Karlsson and Jonas Bonnier, and an 8×30 min. comedy series set in a ski resort from Carlsson and Erik Hultkvist.
“Happiness by the Sea,” a comedy series from the Swedish archipelago, is in production for a spring TV4/CMore premiere, and a feature remake of the “Bert” 1994 TV series will shoot next summer under the direction of Micke Lindgren.