By Davide Abbatescianni – Cineurope
NENT Group is ready to launch a new original production, a biopic series about Sweden’s greatest-ever ice hockey player, Börje Salming. The English-language show, created and directed by Amir Chamdin (the series Partisan), will star Valter Skarsgård (Don’t Click, Funhouse) in the leading role.
The series, penned by Martin Bengtsson, will follow Salming’s trailblazing journey from his humble roots north of the Arctic Circle to become an NHL legend. The first Swedish player inducted into the prestigious Hockey Hall of Fame, Börje Salming broke numerous records, captured the hearts of millions of fans and paved the way for countless Europeans to forge careers in the NHL, the world’s best ice hockey league. In detail, Salming played over 1,100 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs across 16 seasons (1973-1989), notching 148 goals and 620 assists, and in 2017 was named one of the 100 greatest NHL players in history.
Salming himself commented on the making of the show: “It’s flattering and exciting that my story will become a series. When we began discussing this project, I reflected over everything that’s happened in my life, from taking care of myself at a young age after my father passed away, to the journey from Kiruna to the NHL, and I realised there’s a lot of screen potential there. It will be really exciting to see the show when it’s ready.”
Speaking about his involvement in the series, Skarsgård said: “This is the scariest and coolest thing I’ve ever done. It’s fantastic to get to know Börje personally – he tells such amazing stories with complete humility. His attitude was always to do things his way and enjoy it, and I’ll try to bring the same approach to the task of playing him.”
Finally, NENT Group’s Chief Content Officer Filippa Wallestam added: “Börje Salming’s sporting achievements rank with fellow Swedish superstars Björn Borg and Ronnie Peterson. Today, when 10% of NHL players come from Sweden, it’s easy to forget that Europeans were once thought too weak for this unforgiving competition. This is a story of remarkable talent, athleticism and perseverance that deserves an international streaming audience. On his 70th birthday, we hope this launch is a fitting homage to the man known simply as ‘The King’.”
Filming of the series will begin in 2022. The show, still untitled, is set to premiere exclusively on NENT Group’s Viaplay streaming service. Johanna Wennerberg of Warner Bros. International Television Production Sweden is producing.