According to Variety, Netflix has acquired the global rights for the Norwegian crime series Gangs of Oslo, also known as Blodsbrødre. The series, which consists of six episodes, was created and directed by Ole Endresen, co-writer of Netflix’s first original series Lilyhammer and Young Wallander.
It was produced by Monday Scripted for Norway’s largest commercial broadcaster, TV2, with executive producers Lasse Hallberg (Lillyhammer) and Cecilie Tiderman, and co-producer Sajid Malik (Home for Christmas).
Gangs of Oslo follows the story of Moaz, a cop who is transferred from the westside of Oslo to a suburb in the east where he grew up. Upon arriving, Moaz realizes that the leader of the criminal gang Enemiez, whom he is tracking, is his former childhood friend Rami. As Rami fights to maintain control over his portion of the city’s criminal underworld, he forces Moaz to become the gang’s insider in the police, leading Moaz to become increasingly caught up in the gang’s web and torn between his loyalty to the police and his debt to his friend from childhood.
Endersen and the rest of the creative team at Monday took years researching Oslo’s underworld, taking to books, articles, and even conducting interviews. Endersen explains that his “ambition with the show was to tell a story of suburban crime going beyond the stereotyped image of gangs shooting at each other,” per Variety. “I wanted to show that even gang members dream of a traditional safe life with families, and a house with a back garden”.
Endersen claims that he was inspired by the French crime movie La Haine, and took to the streets of Oslo to find cast members. The director wanted to ensure that the setting depicted was as authentic as possible. The cast includes a staggering 80% amateurs, including plumber Mohamed Youssef as Rami, and IT student Emir Zamwa as Moaz. Other cast members include Janne Heltberg (Headhunters, Witch Hunt), Per Kjerstad (State of Happiness, Afterglow), and Ingvild Lakou (Raised by Wolves).
Gangs of Oslo will be the third series where TV2 Norway partners with Netflix, following Girl from Oslo (2021) and Borderliner (2017). The highly anticipated series is being described as a blend of Snabba Cash, City of God, and The Wire.
TV 2 Norway’s head of drama Alice Sommer described the series as “a compelling and uncompromising crime thriller set in the criminal underworld, depicting the relationship between two friends who went in totally opposite directions in life,” per Variety. She added, “Acclaimed director Ole Endresen has a sharp and tender eye for the jagged bitter-sweetness of this double-edged friendship, and he has worked with great dedication to nurture new onscreen talent for this hard-hitting yet vulnerable crime drama series.”
Gangs of Oslo will be available on Netflix in Norway following an exclusive six-month holdback period for the Nordic territory, and will be released on the streaming service in the rest of the world in the coming months. The news was confirmed by Netflix.