8 Feb2023


Beta Cinema announces it will kick-off presales for Hammarskjöld (WT), the big screen adaptation of the gripping true story of the charismatic UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize winner, who devoted his life to ending colonization at EFM. John F. Kennedy called him “the greatest statesman of our century”. Iconic actor Mikael Persbrandt (In A Better World, The Kingdom Exodus, Sex Education, The Hobbit) will star in the lead of this English-language flagship production by Beta Nordic Studios’ Swedish powerhouse Unlimited Stories; Hammarsjköld (WT) marks the first international collaboration since Beta Nordic Studios acquired a share of 51 % in the company in 2021.

The story plunges right into the peak of the Cold War in 1961 in the UN headquarters in New York City. The charismatic diplomat and economist Dag Hammarskjöld has reached the pinnacle of his power, serving as Secretary General of the United Nations in his seventh year. After decolonization, he takes it upon himself to bring peace to the African countries, thwarting plans to further exploit resources of both powerful entrepreneurs and world leaders. His life is turned upside down when his old friend Peter shows up in New York. Dag realizes that he has missed out on an important part of life and starts questioning his unprecedented devotion and dedication to his job and vision. When UN peacekeepers are killed in open battle in the Congo, Dag sees no other way than to enforce by new means, leading UN troops into their first wartime operation. Well aware that his enemies might gather to plot against him, he boards a plane in a final desperate attempt to negotiate a cease-fire…
“For several years I have been fascinated by Dag Hammerskjöld and his idealistic struggle for a better and fairer world. With Dag, the dream of a strong UN came to an end, and the last nine months of his life delivered the tragic plot to a thriller drama about greed, violence and longing – set in the terrifying world of the Cold War where the killing of politicians was a part of normal affairs,” says Per Fly, director and co-screenwriter.

“Our story about Dag Hammarskjöld is a political thriller and at the same time a personal portrait of the private man. With despots currently at the head of many countries, our world today needs, more than ever, someone like Dag Hammarskjöld and a UN that would truly make a difference,” says Patrick Ryborn, producer at Unlimited Stories.

Tassilo Hallbauer, Head of Sales & Acquisitions at Beta Cinema states, “Based on historical facts and including the results of recent investigations, this gripping political thriller puts one of mankind’s most respected diplomats into the limelight. His uncompromising moral stance will inspire audiences world-wide. And to see how much he sacrificed for peace makes for highly emotional, unforgettable moments. We can’t wait to bring the story of the idealistic visionary, who ended colonization to the EFM.”
Francis Chouler, Cian Barry, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Colin Salmon, Richard Brake, Sara Soulié and Thure Lindhardt star alongside Mikael Persbrandt in front of the camera of John C. Rosenlund (The Wave, Schpaa, 1001 Grams). Hammarskjöld (WT) is produced by Patrick Ryborn of Swedish production house Unlimited Stories in co-production with Nordisk Film, SVT, C More, Film i Väst, Nordsvensk Filmunderhållning AB, Maipo A/S. It is supported by the Swedish Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Institute and the Nordic Film & TV Fund. Shooting wrapped recently, postproduction including extensive vfx work is expected to take until Q3 2023. Nordisk Film is distributing in Scandinavia. Beta Cinema holds all rights outside of Scandinavia and will present first exclusive footage to buyers in Berlin.