Finnish director Dome Karukoski working on first English-language film

Finnish director Dome Karukoski, fresh off his release of Tom of Finland, is working on an English-language feature film.

Titled The Starling, the dramedy is scripted by Matt Harris and was once on the Black List of best, unproduced scripts. The story follows a married couple who lose a child and the wife goes into a recovery place to help with her overwhelming grief, leaving the husband at home alone. To help aid her recovery, the husband decides to build a beautiful garden for his wife in their backyard, but as he does he is tormented by an aggressive, black starling. At his wits end with the relentless nature of the bird, he goes to see a veterinarian to find out if there is a humane way to get rid of it. The vet, the husbands finds out, used to be a psychiatrist but gave it up to help animals instead. However, the quirky vet begins counselling the husband in a turn that neither of them expected.

The theme of the story is how love can carry you through grief.

Dome Karukoski is known for a string of successful Finnish films; having directed comedies Lapland Odyssey and The Grump, as well as the drama Heart of a Lion, which is about a Neo-Nazi who falls in love with a woman who has a biracial child.

The Starling currently has actors Keanu Reeves and Isla Fisher in talks to star in the film, Deadline reportsThe Starling is being produced by PalmStar’s Frakes and Sellers who both have relationships with Reeves. Frakes has worked with the actor on multiple films including the John Wick series while Sellers has a history with Reeves on Chain Reaction and The Replacements. Also producing is Buddy Patrick of Windy Hill Films (John Wick 2, The Alchemist) and Michael Bederman (Spotlight, Collateral Beauty).

An early June start date is being planned.

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Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.