Johan Renck
Born (1966-12-05) 5 December 1966 (age 57)
Uppsala, Sweden
Other namesStakka Bo
Occupation(s)Film director, music video director, former singer-songwriter
Years active1991–present[1]

Bo Johan Renck (born 5 December 1966) is a Swedish director of music videos, TV and film. He was originally a singer-songwriter from 1991 to 2001, using the moniker Stakka Bo, and had an international hit with his single "Here We Go" in 1993. Renck later became a music-video and television director, winning an Emmy Award in 2019 for his work on the mini-series Chernobyl.

Early life

Renck was born on 5 December 1966 in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of medical doctor and professor Hans Renck and nurse Marina Kylberg. Hans taught at several universities around the world, so the Renck family moved around and lived in Miami, Uppsala, Malmö, Tromsø and Kuwait.[2] He graduated from Stockholm School of Economics with a degree in business.[3]



While at university, he dated singer and ex-model Camilla Henemark of Army of Lovers, who introduced him to the Swedish music business.[2] He started out as one half of Eurodance duo E-Type + Stakka B, but went solo after two singles,[2][4] continuing to release music as Stakka Bo.

Stakka Bo had a hit single in 1993 with the song "Here We Go", which peaked at No. 13 in the UK Singles Chart.[5] Heavily influenced by the Stereo MCs, who were popular at the time, "Here We Go" appeared in an episode of the animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head and sitcom Derry Girls, in the films Prêt-à-porter, Never Been Kissed and Alien Autopsy[6] and in the video game UEFA Euro 2004.[7]

Due to a very tight budget, he ended up directing the first video for his solo project, and continued making his own videos, eventually directing videos of other Swedish artists such as Titiyo and The Cardigans.[4]

Music videos

He has directed music videos for a number of artists including Madonna's "Nothing Really Matters" and "Hung Up", Kylie Minogue's "Love at First Sight", All Saints' "Black Coffee", Robyn's "Handle Me", Robbie Williams's "Tripping" and "She's Madonna", The Libertines' "What Became of the Likely Lads", Suede's "She's in Fashion", New Order's "Crystal" and "Krafty", Beyoncé's "Me, Myself and I", Chris Cornell's "Can't Change Me", The Knife's "Pass This On", Fever Ray's "Seven" and Bat for Lashes' "Daniel".[8] In 2012 he directed the music video "Blue Velvet" for Lana Del Rey which was also used for the commercial campaign by H&M, as well as the music video for "Wild" by Beach House. In 2015 he directed the ten-minute video for David Bowie's "Blackstar",[9] and "Lazarus" that appeared in January 2016.[10] In 2005, he and his brother Martin directed two videos from Swedish band The Cardigans: "I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer" and "Don't Blame Your Daughter (Diamonds)". He has been associated with Swedish artists like Karin Dreijer and Kent.

Film and television

Renck's first film, Downloading Nancy, 2008 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 21 January 2008 in Park City, Utah.[11] While the movie didn't receive very strong reviews, it generated a call from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. He directed three episodes of AMC television drama Breaking Bad, and moved on to work on one episode of The Walking Dead,[12] Halt and Catch Fire, and Bates Motel.

In addition, Renck directed a fashion art film called Decadent Control for Imagine Fashion that premiered in March 2011. It starred Roberto Cavalli, Eva Herzigová, Kirsty Hume and Brad Kroenig and used fashion from Agent Provocateur and H&M.[11]

He told Swedish magazine Cafe in 2017 that for a while he preferred to direct pilots (Vikings, Bloodline), but now rather works on mini-series, where one can direct all episodes, such as with The Last Panthers. He says he turned down Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones and Homeland. He told the magazine: "And as the director of a TV-episode, you only have around 25 percent of input. There are two kinds of TV projects that I still agree to do, one is television series where each episode is a separate "entity", like Black Mirror, and the other is miniseries where you can do all the episodes, as I did with The Last Panthers. But of course I am very happy that Breaking Bad happened, it was very educational and exciting and fresh. Plus, it is hugely prestigious – people still call me because of it."[2]

In 2019, Renck directed the mini-series Chernobyl, a dramatization of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, for SKY and HBO, featuring among others Stellan Skarsgård, Jared Harris and Emily Watson. Renck won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special in 2019 for his work on Chernobyl.[13] In January 2020, Renck won the Directors Guild of America Award for Movies for Television and Limited Series.[14]

In the fall of 2019, it was announced that he was attached to the feature film Spaceman of Bohemia an adaptation to the book by U.S. based, Czech born writer Jaroslav Kalfař, with a screenplay written by Colby Day. The film is set up under Channing Tatum's company, Free Association.[15]

In May 2020, Variety reported he was in negotiations to direct and executive produce the limited series Girl A for producer Elizabeth Gabler (former president of Fox 2000) and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The series is adapted from the novel by debut author Abigail Dean.[16]

In June 2020, Renck was revealed as executive producer and director of the pilot episode of HBO's television adaptation of The Last of Us with Chernobyl collaborator Craig Mazin;[17] in January 2021, he was forced to drop out of the project due to scheduling conflicts, replaced as the pilot's director by Kantemir Balagov.[18]

In September 2022 he and his producing partner Michael Parets founder their own production company, Sinestra, and signed a 2 year first look deal with Freemantle . Under this deal he will direct an adaptation of the novel Mouth to Mouth.[19]

Renck was set to direct the pilot episode to Dune: Prophecy. But on 28 February 2023, it was announced that he left the project due to a creative overhaul.[20]

In March 2023 he signed to direct a film adaptation of The Prisoner in His Palace, a novel based on the 12 soldiers who guarded Saddam Hussein in the months previous to his execution. He also signed to direct a TV adaptation of the novel The Day of the Triffids for Amazon Studios .[21][22]

Personal life

He is married to Elin Renck and has four children.[23][24]


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Supermarket 9 35 29
The Great Blondino
  • Released: 1995
  • Label: Stockholm (#529336)
  • Formats: LP, CS, CD
19 192
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Stockholm (#014162)
  • Formats: CS, CD
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1991 "We Got the Atmosphere" (with E-Type) Non-album singles
1992 "Numania 1" (with E-Type)
1993 "Here We Go" 4 6 10 17 15 23 10 7 13 Supermarket
"Down the Drain" 24 27 83 10 22 64
"Living It Up" 38
1994 "On Your Knees"
1995 "Great Blondino" 15 The Great Blondino
1996 "Softroom" 54
"We Vie" (with Titiyo, Fleshquartet & Nåid) 10 Jr.
2001 "Mute" 20
"Killer" 34
"Love of a Woman"
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.



Year Title Director Executive
2008 Downloading Nancy Yes No
2024 Spaceman Yes Yes


TV series

Year Title Episode(s)
2009–2011 Breaking Bad "Breakage"
2010 The Walking Dead "Vatos"
2013 Vikings "Rites of Passage"
"Wrath of the Northmen"
Bates Motel "Trust Me"
2014 Halt and Catch Fire "Close to the Metal"
2015 Bloodline "Part 1"
"Part 2"
2016 Shut Eye "Death"


Year Title Director Executive
2014 Ettor & nollor Yes No
2015 The Last Panthers Yes Yes
2019 Chernobyl Yes Yes

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
1999 MTV Video Music Awards Best Special Effects in a Video Nothing Really Matters Nominated
2008 Stockholm International Film Festival Bronze Horse Award Downloading Nancy Nominated
2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Nominated
2011 Online Film & Television Association Best Direction in a Drama Series The Walking Dead Nominated
2016 British Academy Television Awards Best Drama Series The Last Panthers Nominated
2016 Camerimage Best Music Video Blackstar Nominated
2016 MTV Video Music Awards Best Direction Lazarus Nominated
2019 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series Chernobyl Won
2020 British Academy Television Craft Awards Best Director: Fiction Won
2020 CinEuphoria Awards Merit - Honorary Award Won
2020 Producers Guild of America Award Best Limited Series Television Won
2020 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directing – Miniseries or TV Film Won


  1. ^ Official website. Johan Renck. Retrieved on 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hemma hos seriesnillet Johan Renck i Brooklyn". 25 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Johan Renck – Sommar & Vinter i P1".
  4. ^ a b "Johan Renck hyllad av världsstjärnan för "Chernobyl"".
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 523. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ Videography[permanent dead link] at
  7. ^ "EURO 2004 Soundtrack". Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  8. ^ " – Johan Renck: Q & A – Feb 27, 2006".
  9. ^ Renck, Johan. "Blackstar". Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  10. ^ Renck, Johan. "Lazarus". Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b Halbfinger, David M. (29 November 2007). "Coming at Sundance: Personal Explorations and Stories of Survival". The New York Times.
  12. ^ "Another Director Named – Johan Renck Will Tackle The Walking Dead". 17 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Emmys: 'Chernobyl's' Johan Renck Wins Best Directing for a Limited Series". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. ^ "'1917' Director Takes Home Top Prize At DGA Awards". 26 January 2020. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  15. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (4 October 2019). "'Chernobyl' Emmy Winner Johan Renck To Direct 'Spaceman of Bohemia' Adaptation For Channing Tatum's Free Association". Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin (13 May 2020). "'Chernobyl's' Johan Renck to Direct 'Girl A' Limited Series for 3000 Pictures (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  17. ^ Galuppo, Mia (8 June 2020). "'Chernobyl' Director Johan Renck to Helm 'The Last of Us' HBO Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Valence Media. Archived from the original on 9 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (15 January 2021). "'Last of Us' HBO Series Finds Its Director With 'Beanpole' Filmmaker (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Valence Media. Archived from the original on 16 January 2021. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  19. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (22 September 2022). "Chernobyl' Director Johan Renck and Producer Michael Parets Ink TV Deal With Fremantle, Set First Show 'Mouth to Mouth". Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  20. ^ Cordero, Rosy; Andreeva, Nellie (28 February 2023). "'Dune: The Sisterhood': Director Johan Renck & Star Shirley Henderson Exit HBO Max Series Amid Creative Overhaul & Production Hiatus". Deadline. Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (1 March 2023). "Saddam Hussein Film From 'Chernobyl' Director Johan Renck Set at Fremantle, Sinestra". Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (1 March 2023). "'The Day Of The Triffids' TV Series In Works At Amazon With Johan Renck Directing & Angry Films Producing". Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  23. ^ TT (15 December 2013). "Johan Renck har gift sig".
  24. ^ "Johan Renck har blivit pappa igen". Aftonbladet.
  25. ^ a b "Swedish chart peaks". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  26. ^ a b Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  27. ^ a b "Swiss chart peaks". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  28. ^ a b UK chart peaks:
  29. ^ "Austrian chart peaks". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  30. ^ Danish singles chart peaks:
    • "Here We Go" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  31. ^ European singles chart peaks:
    • "Here We Go" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
    • "Down the Drain" (PDF). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  32. ^ German singles chart peaks:
    • "Here We Go". Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  33. ^ "Dutch chart peaks". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  34. ^ "Norwegian chart peaks". (Hung Medien). Retrieved 29 November 2020.