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‘The Office’ star tackles Swedish bad cop role

US TV network Fox has released the official trailer for Backstrom, the next Swedish crime novel set for an international stage. American Rainn Wilson of The Office stars as a pettish Portland policeman.

'The Office' star tackles Swedish bad cop role
Actor Rainn Wilson in the Fox trailer for 'Backstrom'.

Yet another Swedish crime novel is set to hit the international scene next year, as Fox released the official trailer on Monday for its 2015 series Backstrom, based on a series of books by Swedish author and renowned criminologist Leif GW Persson. 

American actor Rainn Wilson, better known as Dwight in the American version of The Office, plays the title character – an alcoholic, racist, and self-destructive cop. While the original books were set in Stockholm's Södermalm, the new US version is set in Portland, Oregon.

Wilson, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work in The Office, is a 48-year-old Seattle native who got his first taste of crime TV as a "supermarket guy" in an episode of CSI.

Both Wilson and Persson are pleased with the results, with the actor tweeting his excitement over his new character and the author joking that he can finally quit his job.

"Now I can quit as a column writer," Persson told newspaper Expressen. "I have sold TV shows in Sweden too, but the pay (in Hollywood) is totally different."

Author GW Persson produced the show along with Hart Hanson, the producer of  hit series Bones. American TV network CBS bought the rights to the series in 2012, but dropped the show after the pilot was released. Fox then announced in January that they had bought the rights for 13 episodes. Set to premiere in spring 2015, the series also features actors Genevieve Angelson, Page Kennedy, and Kristoffer Polaha.  

Backstrom follows in the footsteps of a host of Swedish crime fiction that found new fame abroad thanks to international remakes, including Wallander, the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and more recently, The Bridge. TV Network ABC has also purchased the rights to Exposed, an adaptation of Liza Marklund's series about crime reporter Annika Bengtzon.

Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter. 

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ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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