Swedish label, Yellow Bird, a Banijay company, today announces a partnership with award-winning director/ screenwriter Måns Mårlind, and animation company Brokendoll to develop Before They Were Gods, a new animation series for the international market.
Created by Måns Mårlind (Midnight Sun, The Bridge), with the support and backing of legendary musician and writer Nick Cave and Swedish rock star Thåström, Before They Were Gods is a story of a friendship between the two stars as young teenage boys, both completely unaware they will turn into major rock gods in just a few years. The series is about their search for the ultimate truth, everlasting beauty, and cheap wine. Sometimes they find it, but mostly not. Always there, close to them both, is the promise of endless love in the form of the mysterious and beautiful Linnea who they have both deeply fallen for.
At just 14, they speak like idealistic adults with a discourse bordering on the philosophical. Thåström is a harsh existentialist, political and speaks succinctly. Cave is the opposite, a struggling Dionysian agnostic, and a romantic dreamer who swims in words. It’s set in Sweden, but all dialogue is in English.
Måns Mårlind says: “This is a dream project that literally came to me in a dream. While asleep, I watched two of my musical heroes as young teenagers, drinking cheap beer while discussing love and the meaning of life. I woke up writing and have been trying to catch up with them ever since.”
Nick Cave says: “Since I was never in Sweden in 1971 and haven't ever met Thåström, I am obviously intrigued to find out what we never did.”
Thåström says: "I always wanted to be a cartoon hero.”
Stefan Baron, CEO of Yellow Bird says: “Cool and darkly funny, Before They Were Gods will be a unique feel-good animation series for the international market. Måns Mårlind is leading the creative charge, and with the full support of legendary rock stars Nick Cave and Thåström, this is set to be an authentic adventure, with a killer soundtrack and storyline to attract audiences worldwide.”
Arvid Steen, Creative Director Brokendoll says: “Creating a believable art style for adult animation is the holy grail for any animator trying to break new ground. Måns’ vision to bring the grittiness, detail, and richness of old Swedish comics into the musical worlds of Cave and Thåström is the perfect way to do it.”
Nick Cave, born in 1957 in the small Australian town of Warracknabeal, has become one of the most iconic artists of our time. Forming Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in a post-punk era, Cave has been performing music for more than forty years. His latest album with the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen, has been widely received as his best work ever. Cave’s body of work also covers a wide range of media and methods of expression including film score composition, ceramic sculpture and writing novels. Over the last two years his Red Hand Files website and ‘Conversation With’ live events have seen Cave exploring deeper and more direct relationships with his fans.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is currently performing a 34-date tour across key cities such as London, Berlin, Helsinki, Zagreb, Gothenburg and Paris. His latest film, This Much I Know To Be True, directed by Andrew Dominik went to cinemas worldwide in May, following its critically acclaimed world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
Thåström, also born in 1957, was raised in the working-class Swedish suburb of Högdalen, Stockholm. He played in Sweden’s most famous punk band Ebba Grön, new wave group Imperiet and industrial band Peace, Love and Pitbulls. Since 1989, Thåström has continued to perform and create music, both in a solo capacity and in various bands. In 2021 he released his tenth album entitled Dom som skiner (Those Who Beam), loved by both audiences and critics. Thåström just completed a sold-out tour across Scandinavia and will be a special guest with The Rolling Stones in Stockholm this July.
Måns Mårlind is well-known for both writing and directing, behind the award-winning Midnight Sun, which has sold to more than 120 territories worldwide, and critically acclaimed series Bron (The Bridge), which has been shown in 161 countries and remade in five territories. He has also directed feature-length films, including Swedish feature Storm, the Hollywood feature Shelter, starring Julianne Moore, and the Hollywood blockbuster Underworld: Awakening, pulling in over $160 million in the box office. His latest work is the TV series Shadowplay (The Defeated) starring Taylor Kitsch, Nina Hoss, Tuppence Middleton, Michael C Hall and Sebastian Koch which he wrote, directed and co-produced. Mårlind is represented by Zero Gravity, with Agentfirman covering Scandinavia.
Acclaimed Swedish company Yellow Bird is behind a raft of award-winning local and international hits, including Millennium Trilogy, Young Wallander, Rebecca Martinsson, Headhunters, Occupied and Bäckström. The company is part of Banijay’s network of over 50 scripted labels, led by Lars Blomgren, working across UK, US, Mexico, Australia, Nordics, Germany, Benelux, France, Iberia, Israel, Italy, Poland, and India.
Brokendoll is an award-winning creative studio with offices in Stockholm, Sweden, and San Francisco, USA. Brokendoll’s creative directors and producers have worked across both long and short form entertainment IP, including the Oscar winning Searching for Sugarman, Her, The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window, Disappeared, as well as the ground-breaking adult animation series Myggan.