Netflix has ordered five-part Swedish drama The Unlikely Murderer, adapted by Wilhelm Behrman and Niklas Rockström (Before We Die) from investigative journalist Thomas Pettersson’s award-winning book Den osannolika mördaren.
Directed by Charlotte Brändström and Simon Kaijser, The Unlikely Murderer is a fictional dramatisation of how Stig Engström, a graphic designer presumed to be the murderer of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme, managed to elude justice right up to his death by virtue of a combination of audacity, luck and a perplexed police force.
How could the police let Stig Engström get away, despite being on his trail? The murder was not planned well, Engström did everything wrong from the beginning and almost no-one believed his lies about what he was actually doing on that fateful night in 1986. So how did he evade capture?
The Unlikely Murderer stars Robert Gustafsson (The Truth Will Out) as Stig Engström, alongside a stellar cast that includes Eva Melander (Border), Mikael Persbrandt (Beck), Joel Spira (Thicker Than Water), Shanti Roney (Arne Dahl), Henrik Norlén (Modus), Magnus Krepper (Queen Of Hearts) and Björn Bengtsson (Thicker Than Water).
Conceptual director, Charlotte Brändström, said: “The series is a powerful character study and poses a serious and credible hypothesis regarding the man who most likely killed Palme on that snowy winter night when the Prime Minister left a cinema in central Stockholm and was walking home.”
“The very fact that Sweden’s head of government could, back then, live like any other citizen and eschewed chauffeur-driven vehicles or bodyguards in favor of public transport speaks to a now lost innocence in our national life.”
“What makes someone a murderer – and one who felt compelled to target a prime minister for assassination? How did this sad, solipsistic figure elude police detection?.. Could it be that the murder of Olof Palme – the greatest real-life whodunit in Swedish history – has a shockingly simple explanation?”
The Unlikely Murderer will premiere on Netflix in 2021.