×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

HBO Europe Greenlights Swedish Original ‘Beartown,’ Based on Bestselling Book

HBO Europe has greenlit the Swedish original miniseries “Beartown,” which will be directed by Peter Grönlund and is adapted from Fredrik Backman’s (“A Man Called Ove”) bestselling novel of the same name.

The series, five episodes of an hour each, is being produced by Filmlance International, a company owned by Endemol Shine Group.

Written by Anders Weidemann, Antonia Pyk and Linn Gottfridsson, “Beartown” revolves around a Swedish forest town and its people who have put all their hopes in the junior ice-hockey team competing in the national semifinals.

The heavy burden resting on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys culminates in a violent act which leaves a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. “Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected,” HBO Europe said in a statement.

Ulf Stenberg and Aliette Opheim will star in the miniseries, which will soon start shooting on location in the north of Sweden. The series will premiere day-and-date on HBO Nordic and across HBO Europe territories.

“We fell in love with ‘Beartown’ the first time we read it,” Bonnie Skoog Feeney and Mattias Arehn, producers at Filmlance International, said in a joint statement. It is a story you feel in both your stomach and your heart. Backman has created a universe with characters who give everything – for their town, for their sport and for their children.”

The pair said they wanted to “create a drama where everything is at stake, where we see and feel all of the different sides of humanity – not only in the characters we are depicting, but in ourselves as well.”

Antony Root, executive VP of programming and production at HBO Europe, said: “Fredrik Backman’s novel combines an utterly compelling story, characters that jump off the page, a unique setting, and the exhilaration and drama of competitive sport, while exploring deeply resonant themes of community, masculinity, youth and hope.”

Backman made his literary debut in 2012 with “A Man Called Ove,” whose film adaption was nominated for two Oscars in 2017. A New York Times bestseller, “Beartown” was shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Audie Award 2018 and the Goodreads Choice Awards in the U.S. and Book of the Year Award in Sweden. It was also selected by Amazon as one of the top 20 titles of 2017.

“Rarely do you read a book where not just the characters and the story but even the sounds from the arena you just visited stay with you. ‘Beartown’ is such a book. You literally move in – you become a part of Beartown and Beartown becomes a part of you,” said Hanne Palmquist, commissioning editor and VP of original programming for HBO Nordic.

Peter Grönlund made his feature debut with “Drifters,” which world premiered at San Sebastian in 2015. His latest film “Goliath” is nominated for six Guldbagge Awards.

Fredrik Backman is executive producing the series and is represented by Salomonsson Agency, Tor Jonasson and Sophie Smirnakos. Executive producers for HBO Europe are Palmquist, Root and Steve Matthews.

HBO Europe started producing originals in Scandinavia in 2016, and currently has two other Nordic series in the pipeline: “Beforeigners” from Norway and “Gösta” from Sweden.

More TV

  • CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters'

    CBS News Sets Global 'Earth Matters' Reporting Effort for Earth Day

    CBS News is sending correspondents to far corners of the earth for an all-day “Earth Matters” reporting effort to kick off Monday on “CBS This Morning.” To coincide with Earth Day, five correspondents will be spread among five continents to offer in-depth reports on environmental issues and the politics in the U.S. surrounding the response [...]

  • Jimmy Kimmel government shutdown

    Jimmy Kimmel Sets Live Classic Sitcom Special for May on ABC

    Jimmy Kimmel’s long-gestating live sitcom special is finally coming to fruition. Kimmel announced Thursday night on his ABC late-night show that the special, which was first announced in May 2017, will air Wednesday, May 22, from 8-9:30 p.m. ET. The special will see a cast of celebrity guests recreating two classic episodes of the sitcoms [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

  • The Village

    NBC Swaps Timeslots of Freshman Drama 'The Village,' 'The Voice' on Tuesdays

    NBC is changing the timeslots of Tuesday shows “The Voice” and “The Village.” Up to this point, freshman scripted drama “The Village” has aired at 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays immediately after “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Beginning April 23, “The Village” will air at 8 followed by “The Voice” at 9. The schedule will remain [...]

  • Donald Trump

    HBO Fires Back at Trump's 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired 'No Collusion' Tweet

    HBO is firing back at President Donald Trump after he sent another “Game of Thrones”-inspired tweet in response to the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content