Popular Swedish actor Peter Stormare (“The Blacklist,” “Swedish Dicks”) is set to direct, produce and star in “American Runestone,” a documentary series shedding light on the role played by Viking explorers in Europe’s discovery of North America.
The series’ first two seasons have been commissioned by the Viaplay streaming service run by Scandinavia’s NENT Group. The starting point of the series is 1898, when Swedish immigrant Olof Ohman claimed to have found a runestone in Minnesota left by Viking explorers more than two centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived in North America.
“American Runestone” (working title) follows Stormare on a personal and often humorous journey through Minnesota to uncover the truth about the founding of America through meetings with scholars, skeptics and sensationalists.
Stormare told Variety that “American Runestone” was a passion project. “The idea is not to rewrite history but to clarify it,” he said, adding that the documentary would also explore the peaceful relationship between Vikings and Native Americans.
The actor said that stepping behind the camera to make a personal and meaningful series like “American Runestone” gives his “heart and soul some satisfaction.” The series will be unscripted for the most part and will follow the adventures of “two amateur archaeologists.”
“Making Nordic history is what NENT Group is all about,” said Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, Viaplay’s CEO. “We operate the region’s leading streaming service and launch at least 20 originals every year….It’s fitting that Peter Stormare, one of Sweden’s most charismatic global exports, will tell this fascinating story of Scandinavians in America, which will be a compelling addition to Viaplay’s fast-growing documentary offering.”
“American Runestone” is produced by Stormare, Nina Lund and Glenn Lund through Stormare’s production company, Viking Brothers. The first season of the series comprises six episodes.
NENT Group’s original documentaries include “Swedish Sin,” “Four Hands Menu,” “Superswede” and “Couple Thinkers.”