Swedish actor Rolf Lassgård, who played Ystad detective inspector Kurt Wallander in the first nine TV films from Swedish author Henning Mankell’s thrillers, will star in A Man Called Ove, Swedish director Hannes Holm’s adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel.
The “heartfelt, poetic and humorous” portrait of a grumpy old man who has given up on everyone, including himself – until a new family moves in next door – has sold 900,000 books in Scandinavia and will be published in more than 30 territories. The film will shoot in spring 2015 at Swedish regional film centre Film i Väst, in Trollhättan.
“Lassgård manages the whole spectrum of emotions, which is required to interpret Ove’s universe – sharp humour is mixed with deep sadness in this warm story of love, distinction and human errors,” said Holm (Behind Blue Skies/2010, Tosh in Greece/2012).
The comedy-drama will be produced by Annica Bellander, for Tre Vänner/SF, with Nordisk Film, Film i Väst, Swedish pubcaster SVT and Nordsvensk Filmunderhållning. Nordisk Filmwill handle Scandinavian distribution and TrustNordisk international sales.
Meanwhile, Swedish actors Mikael Persbrandt and Malin Buska will play the leads in Estonian director Kadri Kousaar’s Nordic Instinct, an Estonian-Norwegian-Swedish co-production that will shoot in early 2015 in Estonia and Norway.
Adapted from the 2002 novel Lang, by Finnish author Kjell Westö (who received this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize), the Nordic film noir depicts the relationship that a famous writer and TV anchor has with a femme fatale who is half his age.
Kousaar’s third feature – following Magnus (2007), which was in competition at Cannes, and The Arbiter (2013), which was selected for Karlovy Vary – Nordic Instinct will be staged by Aet Laigu, for Meteoriit Film, with Norway’s Hummelfilm and Zentropa Sweden.