Jan Guillou’s classic bestseller Evil will become an original series of the same name in 6 episodes on C More and TV4, produced by SF Studios. The series starts shooting this week in Vilnius, Lithuania. Erik Leijonborg and Daniel Di Grado are directing, and Fredrik T Olsson has written the screenplay, based on Jan Guillou’s novel.
Isac Calmroth (Håll andan!) plays the leading role Erik, who initiates a forbidden love relationship with the kitchen staff Marja, played by Thea Sofie Loch Naess (Hjerteslag, The Last Kingdom), at the boarding school Stjernsberg. Gustaf Skarsgård (The Emigrants, 438 days, Vikings), who starred in Mikael Håfström’s film Evil from 2003, is also part of the cast in the series, but this time as Erik’s father.
The plot revolves around 16-year-old Erik who is used to violence, both at home and in school. When he is expelled from his school in Stockholm due to his violent behavior, he is transferred to the boarding school Stjernsberg. This is Erik’s last chance to continue his schooling and break with his previous life. But at Stjernsberg, the violence is worse than at home. There, evil is put in a system, disguised as “peer education” of the younger students that is sanctioned by the school.
Already on the train to Stjernsberg, Erik meets Marja, who works as a cook at the boarding school. Her self-assurance and strength captivate Erik completely. All contact between staff and students is strictly prohibited and ends with immediate expulsion. Despite this risk of expulsion, they cannot help but start a secret relationship, but it is not just Marja who opened her eyes to Erik at school. Can Erik stop generations of violence and choose another path?
“We aim to create a series that brings out the close and strong emotions and at the same time is a great and rich story. We are convinced that this description of violence and oppression is relevant today, but we also want to investigate the possibility of other methods than violence to combat violence“, says Tobias Åström, producer at SF Studios. “Further, we will show how the school’s violent structures undermines a young flourishing, but forbidden love affair, but also highlight how the two manage to influence each other to break free from the negative patterns they are stuck in“, Tobias Åström continues.
“Jan Guillou’s novel Evil is constantly relevant, perhaps more now than in a very long time. Breaking violent behaviors requires great individual courage. Examining and questioning masculinity is our responsibility. The series Evil does just that, but it is also a beautiful love story and, in the end, there is hope. We are very happy that we get the opportunity to collaborate with SF Studios and Erik Leijonborg and publish the 2020s version of the successful novel Evil”, says Piodor Gustafsson, Director of Nordic drama for TV4 Media and C More.
The stellar cast include Isac Calmroth, Thea Sofie Loch Naess, Gustaf Skarsgård, Ruth Vega Fernandez, Jens Hultén, Alexander Gustavsson, Christian Fandango, Saga Sarkola and Simon Norrthon.
Evil is produced by SF Studios with producer Tobias Åström in co-production with TV 4 / C More. Executive producer on C More and TV4 is Petra Ahlin. REinvent handles international sales.
The series Evil is expected to premiere on C More in 2023.