Clark Trailer: Bill Skarsgard Is The Originator Of Stockholm Syndrome In Totally Bonkers Netflix Series

Bill Skarsgård knows a thing or two about identifying with his tormentor after his experiences playing Pennywise in Andy Muschetti's "It" films. Now he's playing Clark Olofsson, the man who inspired what we think of today as Stockholm Syndrome. In 1973, Olofsson's prison buddy Janne Olsson robbed a bank and took four hostages, then demanded that Olofsson be released to come and help him. Shockingly, the police released Olofsson, who not only helped Olsson but began developing friendships with the hostages. Ultimately, the hostages ended up pleading for lighter sentencing for their captors. Olofsson became a media darling and went on to lead a tumultuous but exciting life of crime before changing names and settling down in Belgium. 

Netflix has released the trailer for "Clark," the new series about Olofsson, starring Skarsgård and directed by Jonas Åkerlund. The trailer is pure rock 'n' roll cool, and Skarsgård makes it easy to understand why his captives sympathized with him. Then again, it's hard not to look cool wearing a leather jacket while Deep Purple plays in the background. 

Clark Trailer

The real-life Olofsson was a counter-culture figure in Sweden in the 1970s, a rebellious outlaw who captured the imaginations of the Swedish people. His rap sheet was impressive: not only did he rob banks, but he escaped prison. He would taunt the authorities, using his years of reading while in jail to really tear into them in interviews. One reporter even called him "a scruffy Scandinavian mixture of Jesse James and Warren Beatty."

The trailer says the movie is based on "crimes, sex, truth, and lies," which means it's probably going to take some license with historical fact. The aesthetic is kind of a mix of Craig Gillespie's tabloid fodder like "I, Tonya" or "Pam & Tommy," mixed with the anarchist-punk ethos of something like Nicolas Winding Refn's "Bronson." Åkerlund initially gained fame directing music videos for acts ranging from The Prodigy to Madonna, and the trailer definitely has a music video vibe. Åkerlund's films have been crime-heavy, starting with the Brittany Murphy-led drug-dealing tale "Spun" in 2002. 

Combining Åkerlund's wild storytelling style with a true tale almost too strange to believe and Skarsgård's acting talents is one surefire way for success. Åkerlund explained the project to Variety in 2020:

"'Clark' is the story about the most politically incorrect man, who lived the most politically incorrect life... It's an ultra-violent, witty, emotional, real and surreal biography to put a face to the name Stockholm Syndrome, but it isn't just about the Norrmalmstorg Robbery."

He also said that Skarsgård was "the perfect match" for the role. The Swedish-language drama series will debut exclusively on Netflix sometime soon.