Netflix Orders True-Life Nordic Crime Drama 'The Unlikely Murderer'

Charlotte Brändström, Robert Gustafsson, Eva Melander
Johan Paulin/Netflix

Charlotte Brändström, Robert Gustafsson, Eva Melander

The five-part drama is based on Thomas Pettersson's bestseller about the assassination of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme.

Netflix has greenlit a five-part limited series, The Unlikely Murderer, based on the 2018 book by Thomas Pettersson about the infamous, and still unsolved, 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. 

Palme's murder is Sweden's version of the JFK assassination, with dozens of competing conspiracy theories as to who killed him and if nefarious forces were behind the murder. Pettersson's book looks at Stig Engström, a graphic designer who many consider the prime suspect in the killing but who eluded justice up to his death. 

Swedish actor and comedian Robert Gustafsson (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared), will star as Engström in The Unlikely Murderer, which Sweden's FLX (Quicksand, Love & Anarchy) will produce for Netflix. Eva Melander, Mikael Persbrandt, and Peter Andersson co-star. 

Gustafsson called playing Engström an "exciting challenge and a great responsibility...but also, in a way, a form of therapy. Since I was at the same cinema as Olof Palme on the night of the murder, this case has always felt like an abscess that never disappears - and I'm not alone in feeling that."

Wilhelm Behrman and Niklas Rockström will adapt Pettersson's book for the screen. Charlotte Brändström will act as conceptual director on the series, with Simon Kaijser also directing.  Fatima Varhos and Frida Asp will produce for FLX. Pontus Edgren is the executive producer on the show.

The Unlikely Murderer will launch on Netflix in 2021.