The Swedish film produced by B-Reel Films will be released by SF Studios later this summer. Georgsson and producers Mattias Nohrborg and Fredrik Heinig, have worked on the project for more than two years but had kept it under wraps. “The politically-charged topic made our working environment a bit unsafe, which is one of the reasons why we decided to keep the project secret,” explains Nohrborg to

The Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson had been researching and mapping the Swedish far right for more than 30 years, which made him one of the most hated persons in Sweden for neo-Nazi supporters, especially from the mid-1990s to his death after a heart attack in 2004. At that time, Larsson was editor in chief of the anti-racist magazine Expo, modelled on the British Searchlight, while pursuing a new literary career as crime novelist.

Norhborg and Heinig (producers of the documentary hit Palme) started digging into Larsson’s life and work with a team of researchers in 2016, when they got access to his archives, stored in the basement of Expo. “Every box in the basement was labelled, including a box with the name Olof Palme, as Stieg was also investigating the assassination of the former Swedish Prime Minister,” says Nohrborg who continues: “At the beginning, we thought about focusing on Stieg’s theory behind Palme’s murder, but then switched to his life, his interest in crime novels, his life crusade against the far-right movement in Sweden, and the reality behind the Millennium books.”

The B-Reel Films producers then hired the concept director of The Bridge, Henrik Georgsson, whose background is in documentary filmmaking. The Man Who Played with Fire contains creative re-enactment, unique archive material and is based on more than 60 interviews with the author/journalist’s family, friends, former collaborators and politicians. “One of the key interviewees is Stieg’s life companion Eva Gabrielsson whom I convinced personally to take part in the project,” says Nohrborg.

“Stieg Larsson was a remarkable man who dedicated his life to facts and lived for his principles and values,” continues the producer. “He lived an exciting life that sadly ended when he was 50, just a few months before the Millennium books were published. They went on to sell more than 90 million copies worldwide!”

The documentary film will hit Swedish cinemas just before Sweden’s general elections September 9. “Stieg Larsson had done a lot of research about the far-right party Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) that takes its roots in neo-Nazi ideology and had warned about their potential rise. In 2000 they represented around 1.5% of the votes and now the latest polls put their share at 18.5%,” notes Nohrborg.

The film and four-part TV series is co-produced by SF Studios, C More, TV4, Film i Väst, Nordsvenk Filmunderhållning, GAB, with support from the Swedish film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. The Match Factory handles world sales outside Scandinavia.