Represented worldwide by REinvent International Sales, the five-part series is world premiering virtually at Sundance in the Indie Episodic section.
The series was written by Möller and Oskar Söderlund, a popular screenwriter whose credits include Netflix’s hit series “Snabba Cash.” FLX, the Swedish banner owned by SF Studios behind “Quicksand” and “Solsidan”, produced the show for Discovery Plus.
“The Dark Heart” follows Sanna, the 21-year-old daughter of a wealthy southern Swedish landowner whose father, Bengt, makes his fortune renting inherited land to hard-working family farmers. When Sanna begins a relationship with Marcus, the penniless son of a neighboring farmer, her father issues an ultimatum: leave Marcus or lose his inheritance. Shortly after, Bengt disappears without a trace. The local police turn to Tanja, an investigator from Missing People Sweden, whose passion for solving the case quickly turns into an obsession.
The suspenseful series is based on the true story of Thérèse Tang, a Missing People volunteer who solved a murder case in the town of Förlösa in 2012.
Talk to Variety, Möller said that “The Dark Heart” is not a thriller “, but rather a character study. “Pretty early on we have an idea of who is guilty and who is not, so the series is very much more focused on the psychology of these characters. What I found really fascinating when I read Joakim Palmkvist’s book is how similar the two protagonists are,” said the filmmaker. “What brought them together despite their differences was the fact that they are both strangers and they crave self-actualization and self-recognition – one achieves this through violence and murder, while the other gets there trying to solve a murder.”
Möller and Söderlund shared the creative duties on “The Dark Heart”. Söderlund spoke to the book’s author and people involved in the case while writing the story. Möller focused on the characters and directed all five episodes.
The Swedish director said he was “fascinated” by the project because it tackles modern yet timeless themes. “You have this family feud and this wealthy patriarch; it looked like something out of a 19th century novel, but the themes and characters were very contemporary,” Möller added.
Since living in Denmark for 13 years and debuting in Danish-language “The Guilty,” Möller said he was happy to return to his native Sweden to do “The Dark Heart.”
“It was a great opportunity for me to be able to work with Swedish talent that I had observed,” Möller said.
The tense atmosphere of the show is also reinforced by the original score composed by Petter Winnberg, member of the Swedish group Amason. “The music really captures the folk soul of Sweden,” Möller said.
Next, Möller is developing two feature film projects, including “Snow Blind” with Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred in the American remake of “The Guilty,” which was released by Netflix last fall. He is also writing a second Danish feature, which he describes as being in the same vein as “The Guilty” but with a woman as the main character.
Watch the trailer below:
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