Netflix today announced that Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard (It, It Chapter Two) will portray Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson in the new six-episode drama series Clark. Olofsson has been referred to as a “celebrity gangster,” which gave rise to the concept of Stockholm syndrome. He managed to escape prisons and committed robberies all over Europe.
Bill Skarsgard can later this year be seen in Netflix film The Devil All the Time and in the Sundance hit Nine Days from Sony Pictures Classics. On television, Skarsgard most recently starred in Hulu’s Castle Rock, a psychological drama series from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.
Internationally-acclaimed Jonas Åkerlund, whose visually-driven signature style often pushes the boundaries of the status quo, will be directing. The production company is Scandinavian Content Group.
Based on the truth and lies of Clark Olofsson’s autobiography, the Swedish-language series will feature Clark’s early years until present day. The notorious gangster started his criminal career in the 1960s and became one of the most controversial personalities in contemporary Swedish history.
Convicted of several counts of drug trafficking, attempted murder, assault, theft and dozens of bank robberies, he has spent more than half his life behind bars and has left behind a trail of trauma, heartbreak, disappointment and general devastation.
In the 1970s, Clark gave rise to the idea of “The Stockholm Syndrome” during a failed bank robbery in Stockholm – and has ever since kept his position as celebrity criminal fooling all of Sweden to fall in love with him. Just like he desired.
Director Jonas Åkerlund said: “Clark is the 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 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. Bill Skarsgard is the perfect match for this and he will bring the Stockholm Syndrome to the role. And Netflix is the perfect platform, they are not just the biggest streaming service, they also have the boldness to tell this incredible story.”
Bill Skarsgard added: “Clark Olofsson is, for good and bad, one of Sweden’s most colourful and fascinating individuals. I accept this challenge with delight mingled with terror and think that with Jonas and Netflix in the back, we can tell a groundbreaking story with a pace and madness we may not have seen on TV before. Clark’s life and history is so incredible and screwed that it would even make Scorsese blush.”
Tesha Crawford, Director of International Originals Northern Europe at Netflix, said: “We really look forward to continuing our great collaboration with Jonas Åkerlund and Bill Skarsgard. We can not imagine a better team to tell the complex story about Clark Olofsson and how he became one of the most controversial personalities in modern Swedish times.‘’
Clark was written by Fredrik Agetoft, Peter Arrhenius, Jonas Åkerlund et al. The producers are Börje Hansson and Patrick Sobieski, and the line producer is Erich Hörtnagl. The executive producers are Hans Engholm, Jonas Åkerlund, and Bill Skarsgård. The music will be composed by Mikael Åkerfeldt.
The series is based on Clark Olofsson’s autobiography Vafan var det som hände and will launch exclusively on Netflix.