Jason Priestley (“Beverly Hills, 90210”) has joined the cast of Viaplay’s English-language series about NHL ice hockey legend Börje Salming.
Currently filming in Sweden and Canada, the biopic series stars Valter Skarsgård (“The Playlist”) as Salming and is created and directed by Amir Chamdin, winner of the Best Series Award at Canneseries 2020 for “Partisan.”
The show is written by Martin Bengtsson, who previously wrote “Tigers,” which was Sweden’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Priestley portrays Gerry McNamara, the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs talent scout who discovered Salming and fellow Swede Inge Hammarström and helped launch their North American careers.
Salming played over 1,100 games for the Maple Leafs across 16 seasons (1973-1989), notching 148 goals and 620 assists. He was named one of the 100 greatest NHL players in history in 2017 and was the first Swedish player to be inducted into the prestigious Hockey Hall of Fame.
“I grew up in Canada, in the ’70s, and I actually watched Börje play, every Saturday night, on Hockey Night in Canada,” said Priestley. “I knew some of his story, and obviously what a great player he was on the ice, but the whole of his story and the impact he had on the game was incredible, and is still being felt today.”
The actor said he’s “always loved the story of how Gerry McNamara found Börje and Inge in Sweden and convinced [Maple Leafs owner Harold] Ballard to sign them in a league that, at the time, wasn’t full of European players the way it is today.”
Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group CCO, said “Jason Priestley is a personal favourite from my own youth, and a legend who so many people around the World grew up with in the 1990s.”
The executive added that the fact that “actors of his level want to work with [Viaplay] shows once again that [the streamer] is increasingly attractive to international talents.”
The series is produced by Johanna Wennerberg at Warner Bros. International Television Production, with Sara Askelöf as executive producer for Viaplay Group.
Viaplay is set to premiere at least 70 Viaplay Originals by the end of the year and is targeting approximately 12 million subscribers by the end of 2025.
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Originally published at variety.com