Vikings and Stranger Things stars join the cast of C More and TV4 psychological thriller Sanctuary

Thrilling psychological tension awaits in C More’s and TV4’s new Swedish original series Sanctuary, which premieres in the spring of 2019. The lead role features Swedish star Josefin Asplund (Vikings) who, among others, is joined by Stranger Things star Matthew Modine.

Imagine being locked in a clinic where nothing is what it seems, where everyone is a threat, and where nobody believes you are who you claim to be.

Welcome to Sanctuary − C More’s and TV4’s new original series with Sweden’s new international star Josefin Asplund, known from productions including the TV series Vikings and one of the lead roles in the Swedish film Call Girl.

Sanctuary is a psychological thriller about identical twins Siri (Josefin Asplund) and Helena (Josefin Asplund), separated as children because of their conflicting differences. When Helena several years later receives an invitation to visit Siri at a fantastic resort in the Alps called Himmelstal, she is first hesitant − but soon sees it as a chance for an exciting break from her dull existence at home in Västerås.

But when Helena wakes up the day after her arrival, she realises that Siri is gone and that she is not in a resort but an advanced facility that conducts research and experiments on psychopaths. Siri has abandoned Sanctuary and her sister. Helena is now trapped in a living nightmare, where nobody is who they seem to be and where everyone believes she is the manipulative, violent and unwell sister, Siri.

Josefin Asplund describes working on Sanctuary as challenging − largely because she actually plays two characters.

“It has been a dream to get to fashion two characters who are completely different from each other, and with one of them also a psychopath. I have never worked so hard on any other project before. It has been a wonderful challenge, both mentally and physically,” she says, and continues, “I think this will be something special. There is an exquisite contrast in that Sanctuary is such a beautiful and perfect place where completely absurd things happen. I think the audience will like the twisted characters and the dark, claustrophobic tone that follows throughout the series.”

Josefin Asplund plays both the twin sisters. Matthew Modine, from productions including Stranger Things, plays the role of director of the Sanctuary research lab. He expresses his fascination with the genre that Sanctuary occupies.

“Mistaken-identity films are fantastic. In one of my favorites, Being There, the central character, portrayed brilliantly by Peter Sellers, proves that success in Washington isn’t due to intelligence but rather the lack of it. North by Northwest, The Big Lebowski and The Great Dictator are also brilliant examples of this genre. In Sanctuary, Josefin Asplund finds her character caught within this mistaken-identity spiderweb. Surrounded by psychopaths and trapped inside the institution that houses them, Josefin’s character must convince the doctors that she is the most sane person in the story,” he says.

Matthew Modine looks back on the filming of Sanctuary with a smile.

“It was magical to spend time filming in Rome and Levico Terme with the entire production team and cast,” Modine says.

Ulf Synnerholm is the executive producer of Sanctuary on C More and TV4.

“Sanctuary brings chilling and claustrophobic excitement with vibrant twists in a fantastically beautiful environment in the Alps -− with brilliant acting by Sweden’s new international star Josefin Asplund. This is a unique tale with an underlying psychological theme that I am convinced will captivate our viewers,” he says.

Sanctuary is produced by Yellowbird for C More and TV4 in co-production with TMG (Tele München Gruppe) and Fabula Pictures. The international distributor for the series is Studiocanal. Sanctuary is directed by Óskar Thór Axelsson and Enrico Maria Artale. The script is written by Charlie Fletcher. The executive producer at C More and TV4 is Ulf Synnerholm.

Sanctuary is based on the book The Devil’s Sanctuary by Marie Hermansson. The series was filmed mainly in the Italian Alps and is scheduled to premiere in the late spring of 2019. The exact premiere date and cast list will be presented at a later date.


Elias Giertz
Press and PR Manager, Drama
+46 73 346 24 07