Stephen Gaghan Tapped to Adapt Leif G.W. Persson Crime Novels

Stephen Gaghan
David Livingston/Getty Images

Twentieth Television has tapped Traffic screenwriter Stephen Gaghan to adapt a three-book series from Swedish criminologist Leif G.W. Persson.

The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the studio will develop the book series for a potential hourlong drama project that’s being eyed for next year.

The project would revolve around the main character in the novels: Evert Backstrom, a cynical, racist, sexist and homophobic cop with a drinking problem who is disliked by many of his colleagues. Two books in the series have been published thus far: 2005’s Linda and 2008’s He Who Kills the Dragon. A third book in the franchise is expected.

Persson is a Swedish criminologist and former professor of criminology at the Swedish National Police Board from 1992 through 2008. He has often appeared on Swedish TV as an expect commentator.

Persson’s 1978 novel Grisfesten (Pig Party) was adapted for the big screen overseas.

Gaghan’s most recent work includes Metro, the now-defunct crime drama that starred Jimmy Smits.

Email:; Twitter: @Snoodit