Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell is to write a drama series on the life of iconic director Ingmar Bergman (pictured). The series will be shown by national broadcaster Sveriges Television (STV) in 2012.

Mankell, best known for the Inspector Kurt Wallander series, is to work on the screenplay next year and the series will be produced in four one-hour episodes. Production is planned for 2011.

“What fascinates me is the price Bergman had to pay for his uncompromising creativity – it darkened many aspects of the rest of his life,” said Mankell. “What interests me is what one might call the ‘price of obsession’ and I believe there is much that is generally applicable in his story.”

He added that he plans to cover Bergman’s life from several angles and will cover both his lighter and darker periods. Mankell said that the screenplay would be a challenge but that he plans to cover a wide spectrum of his life – from his theatre experiences at a youth club in Stockholm to the life he led on the island of Faro. It will also take in the many high profile characters he met along the way, including Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo.

Eva Hamilton, the director general of SVT, said: “It is to be a major project; it will be hard to produce and it involves great responsibility. But we are certain that SVT, a longstanding public company, has the experience and the know-how to do it.”

Mankell has also written several plays and books for children and adolescent readers and in 2008 he was listed as the ninth best-selling author in the world. The Wallander series of books have also been adapted for TV with SVT.