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C More and TV4 commission Top Dog, based on the Jens Lapidus bestsellers

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Successful Swedish author Jens Lapidus’s latest trilogy Top Dog will become a television series on the Nordic streaming service C More and on Swedish TV4.

The commission was announced during the MIPCOM television trade show in Cannes at the same time as the internationally acclaimed leading actors Josefin Asplund (Sanctuary, Vikings) and Alexej Manvelov (Chernobyl, Before We Die) were revealed.

The TV series Top Dog is based on the series of books by best-selling Swedish author Jens Lapidus, “VIP-rummet”, “Stockholm Delete” and “Top Dogg”. Lapidus has previously written the novel Easy Money, which was turned into a film and achieved great international success following its 2010 premiere.

The new TV series Top Dog centres on the clash between ambitious business lawyer Emily Jansson, played by Josefin Asplund, and the ex-crook Teddy Maksumic, played by Alexej Manvelov. A mysterious disappearance brings together two completely different worlds, and an extremely ill-matched couple - lawyer Emily and the conditionally released Teddy. The two are at loggerheads. She wants up. He wants out. She wants to secure her future; he wants to leave his old life behind. The pair are forced to rethink when they end up in a tricky situation where the past catches up, where future dreams are shattered, and where nothing is what it seems.

“It’s exciting that Top Dog has now become a television series. From what I’ve seen, I can say this: it will be awesome. I have not gone in and meddled with the details, but the most important thing about adaptations of my works is that the authenticity is preserved. Authenticity should permeate everything, and the script, the directing and the actors make up the basic building blocks. What I've seen of Josefin and Alexej bodes well, they have the right feeling,” says Jens Lapidus.

“I was motivated by how these worlds and characters meet and are portrayed, how different they are, yet so similar. That Emily is a hard-working careerist who wants to climb to the top, and that it takes a while before we get to know her in depth. It’s something that feels rare and exciting. It has also been a pleasure to work with such a professional team! There has been a high level and quality to this production, and it’s evident in the end result,” says Josefin Asplund.

Alexej Manvelov was attracted to the project by the authenticity of the characters.

“It’s interesting how two social extremes are interwoven in the same story, but what is really rare, and what made me want to be part of Top Dog, was how authentically Teddy’s journey, dilemmas and relationships were written, and with the director’s vision for the project I knew it was a winner. Top Dog is told with great care from all those involved. The recording placed high demands on the creators, and that commitment is visible, and you can feel it in the material,” he says.

The cast also includes Gustav Lindh, Peter Gardiner, Christian Hillborg, Joel Spira, Kardo Razzazi, Mahmut Suvakci, Bekzod Kuliev, Amanda Ooms, Lina Englund and Felice Jankell.

Top Dog was announced at the MIPCOM television trade show in Cannes, where several of C More’s and TV4’s TV series were presented to the international market. The series premieres in 2020.

“Jens Lapidus is unique in his writing, with his authenticity and his very own genre. Having the opportunity to turn his books into a TV series together with Filmlance has always felt like a great luxury. It feels particularly exciting to present this Swedish and locally rooted story at the huge MIPCOM market in Cannes, where expectations are, to say the least, high,” says Josefine Tengblad, Head of Drama at C More and TV4.

The script for Top Dog has been written by lead screenwriter Veronica Zacco together with Josefin Johansson, Amanda Högberg, Linnea Möller Lindh, Dunja Vujovic, Lovisa Milles, Gunnar A.K. Järvstad and Alexis Almström.

Molly Hartleb (The Restaurant, Hinsehäxan) and Alexis Almström (Pink Cloud Syndrome) directed, with Molly providing conceptual direction.

Top Dog is produced by Anna Wallmark, Olof Spaak and Teresa Alldén at Filmlance, a part of Endemol Shine Group, for C More and TV4 in co-production with ZDF and Film Capital Stockholm Fund, and is distributed internationally by ZDF Enterprises.

About Bonnier Broadcasting, C More and TV4

Bonnier Broadcasting is one of Scandinavia’s leading broadcasters, with TV channels including TV4, C More and MTV Finland, holding over one third of Swedish viewership. In a time when global television viewership is increasingly fragmented, Bonnier Broadcasting is bucking the trend by unifying viewers. For over 20 years, TV4 has held Sweden’s largest viewership in all age groups between 15 and 64. TV4 continues to create water cooler entertainment; while C More is Sweden’s fastest growing streaming service, providing binge-worthy entertainment and high profile content and TV4 Play is Sweden’s leading iPlayer.

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