Michael Marcimain, director of the 2014 Christmas hit Gentlemen, has turned his attention towards a full TV adaptation of Klas Östergren’s novels, Gentlemen & Gangsters, which premieres tonight on SVT. Östergren has said that the series will be “the definitive version of this story.”
“Klas and I had, from the beginning, an idea for a TV series and movie that could converse with one another,” says Marcimain. “There is a big difference between the two – the series takes a completely different twist. After a few minutes, characters are introduced who were not in the film, which will affect the story.”
Whereas the movie took a snapshot of the story and focussed on the 1970s, the series weaves both novels together and tells the complete story from 1940 to 2005. Now Marcimain feels like the journey for both he and Östergren is complete:
“Just like it took Klas Östergren many years to finish his story, now I finish it in cinematic form, and it feels like a chapter has been closed in my life. I’m very proud of the result.”
Gentlemen & Gangsters tells the story of a beaten up, bruised, and scared young writer who hides in a Stockholm apartment, writing the story of its disappeared inhabitants: the flamboyant and charismatic Morgan brothers.
It all began a year earlier, when he was rooming with Henry Morgan, a boxer, piano player, composer, bartender, and old-fashioned gentleman with a Gatsby-like capacity for turning life into a feast and absolutely no talent for keeping secrets.
The two friends led the high-life in Stockholm until the day Henry’s younger brother Leo – a star poet, drunk, political provocateur – showed up. Leo drags them into a scandal involving illegal weapons and gangsters, and soon the three men find themselves unwittingly and irreversibly trapped in a dangerous plot.
Gentlemen & Gangsters will premiere over four nights on the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 7th January 2016 on SVT in Sweden. The cast includes David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez and Sverrir Gudnasson.