By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 12, 2011 at 7:22AM
Arthouse fans maybe recognize him recently from the excellent “Everlasting Moments” or for his turn in Susanne Bier‘s Oscar winning “In a Better World,” but Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt is poised for global recognition as the shape-shifting Beorn in Peter Jackson's forthcoming "The Hobbit" films. But he won't stray too far from his bread and butter just yet as he's lined up a role in director Lasse Hallström's first Swedish film in 24 years.
Bloody Disgusting reports that the actor is taking the lead role in the adaptation of Lars Kepler's "The Hypnotist." The film is the first in a trilogy -- the books are the second most successful crime series in Sweden following Stieg Larsson's 'Dragon Tattoo' novels -- that will follow Detective Joona Linna, and for this installment he will investigate a grisly triple homicide where the only survivor, a young boy, is too traumatized to testify. In order to get to the bottom of the case, Linna has a famous psychologist hypnotize the boy, setting off a terrifying chain of events. So yeah, it sounds a bit gimmicky to say the least but with lots and lots of satisfied readers, who are we to judge?
The plan is for the film to get rolling this winter, likely when Persbrandt wraps his duties for "The Hobbit" and we're curious to see how this turns out. Hallström has long descended into mediocrity but we hope this material -- certainly grittier than anything he's handled, well, ever -- and a return to his native land gets the creative juices flowing. A 2012 release date is being eyed and if it's successful, more films will probably follow.