Journey to the Christmas Star is a classic Norwegian fantasy film from 1976. It has captured the imagination and spirit of generations of Norwegians thanks to repeated TV screenings. Now a remake is in the works, or rather, a new adaption of the source material.
The 1976 feature film Journey to the Christmas Star (see picture below) made Hanne Krogh a big star, and has also become an essential part of Christmas to thousands of Norwegians, as it is shown on TV every Christmas evening. What many people don’t know is that the film is based on a stage play from 1924 by Sverre Brandt. A play which occasionally is still staged, most recently in 2010 in Oslo. Now film producer Jan Eirik Langøen has received 12 million NOK (about 2 million USD) from the Norwegian Film Institute to develop the film. This grant will not be enough to finance the entire production, but it is a good start.
Moskus Film is the company behind the new movie, which according to Langøen is not going to be a remake of the first film, but a close adaption of the original play. “The 1976 version is different from the original script in a number of ways. We will be very faithful to the original script” Langøen says, and adds that a good story can be told again and again, as long as the format is updated and made relevant to new audiences. Langøen uses the many adaptions of Robin Hood to prove his point. He also mentions that they are working closely with Brandt’s grandchild, Regine Dyveke Brandt Qvenild.
The director is no less than Nils Gaup, Norway’s most successful director the last 25 years, with hits such as Head above water (remade with Cameron Diaz), the original Pathfinder, and the Oscar nominated pirate epic Håkon Håkonssen on his CV. Gaup’s contribution to the film may have had something to say about the fact that the new film will be the first Norwegian feature film to be distributed internationally by Disney.
Hanne Krogh, the star of the first film and now an established singer and entertainer, would not refuse a role in the new film, if offered one. “It will be interesting to see it, and strange too. I’m not thinking about myself, but the original film is a monument over some of our greatest actors, such as Rolf Just Nilsen, Harald Heide Steen jr and Alf Nordvang. The film is a [cultural icon] for us Norwegians” she says.
The new Journey to the Christmas Star is in its early stages but producer Jan Eirik Langøen expects the 28 million kroner film (5 million USD) to be ready for Christmas in 2012.