Swedish filmmaker Mikael Hafstrom began his career by writing and working as an assistant director in television in his native country during the late 1980s. He also started directing made-for-TV outings around this time, and would continue to do so through the early 1990s. In 1995, he helmed the crime thriller "Vendetta", and during the remainder of the decade, he worked on fantasy and horror projects for television. Hafstrom then opted for a change of pace in 2001, directing the slice-of- life comedy drama "Days Like This", which he also wrote. His next project as a writer-director was 2003's coming-of-age story "Evil". Detailing life at a tough boarding school in 1950s Sweden, the film received an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Language Film. Following the critical success of "Evil", Hafstrom scripted and directed "Drowning Ghost", a 2004 horror film that was also set in a private school. The filmmaker then began working in Hollywood the next year, directing the dark thriller "Derailed", with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. 2007 found him returning to supernatural horror with "1408", which was based on a Stephen King short story and starred John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Hafstrom reteamed with Cusack for the 2010 period mystery "Shanghai", and the following year, he directed veteran actor Anthony Hopkins in the eerie exorcism film "The Rite".