Hamilton will be a coproduction of Sweden-based Dramacorp and Swedish IP rights company IRLC. Mia Sohlman, who joined Dramacorp recently, with executive produce with Nebout.
This marks one of the first major projects Dramacorp has entered into after launching in April as a venture with Jan Mojto’s Beta Films.
The books centre on a Swedish intelligence officer trained by US Navy SEALS who joins an illegal black ops cell within the Swedish military. Guilou, an investigative journalist, has been compared to John le Carré, who penned the novel behind BBC drama The Night Manager.
The Hamilton books have been adapted into a number of feature films and miniseries, with Hollywood actor Stellan Skarsgård playing the central character role in the first movie back in 1989.
Petter S. Rosenlund, head writer of NRK thriller The Heavy Water, is leading the Hamilton writing team. Dramacorp said he plans to write contemporary “high-concept, character-driven drama with international traction”.
In translating Hamilton into a TV series, my goal is to explore the chaotic journey through contemporary, post-Cold War Sweden taken by Jan “Guillou’s fascinating character, as he facing questions such as loyalty and national interest at a time of great global confusion and uncertainty,” said Rosenlund.
The plot will begin Sweden, but take place in several territories and involve various nationalities, meaning local languages will mix with a central English-language narrative.
Dramacorp expects to make an announcement on international broadcast and coproduction partners ahead of MIPCOM next month.
“High-concept stories don’t come much better than Jan Guillou’s Hamilton novels,” said Nebout, the NICE Drama co-founder who created Dramacorp.
“With this project, we’re moving beyond the classic Nordic Noir crime genre into a contemporary, chaotic world of espionage, paranoia and the geopolitical power game that is being played anew between Scandinavia, Russia and the US – a Cold War 2.0, if you like, but without the ideology.”
Dramacorp’s first series, Midnight Sun, was a coproduction with Canal+ and SVT, while Thicker Than Water is a copro between SVT and YLE that has sold to Channel 4 in the UK and Arte in France.