Norwegians abroad

Success continues for the Norwegian smash hit Troll Hunter, and Tommy Wirkola delays the premiere of his Hollywood debut.

Troll Hunter success in the UK
Last week, André Øvredal’s Troll Hunter (2010) was the most sold home video in the UK. DVD and BluRay sales reached a peak with 35.000 units sold within a few days, which makes Troll Hunter the first Norwegian film ever to top the UK video charts. “A sensation [and] an incredible start for the 2012 film year” says the film’s producer, John M. Jacobsen to Dagbladet. The fact that the film has Norwegian audio and is subtitled makes the producer even more excited. On its first day, Troll Hunter sold 16.000 copies, more than three times as many as Colombiana and 60% more than Boardwalk Empire. Additionally, the film was voted Film of the Year on the horror portal to which director and writer André Øvredal responded; “For Troll Hunter to have been voted Film of the Year by This Is Horror is a big honour, especially in a year filled with great horror films. I am ecstatic! Thank you for the nomination and thank you to the readers for voting! Amazing!” This week, updated charts list Troll Hunter in the third place for home video sales in the UK.

Phenomena to be adapted by Hollywood
Variety reports that Hollywood producer Gudrun Giddings has bought the rights to adapt Ruben Eliassen’s Phenomena books to movies. The 43 year old Norwegian author has since 2002 written seven fantasy novels aimed at children and young teens, about elf twins Alk and Ilke who posess powers to fight Tarkan, prince of darkness. “This is very nice, it’s the big dream really. I am just a small writer in a small country [where we speak] a small language. That makes this very, very nice” Eliassen says to VG Online. “Scandinavia has a world of hidden treasures, and Phenomena is a treasure I believe can be enjoyed by audiences all over the world” explained Giddings regarding her motivation for buying the film rights. The process that lies ahead is to make a presentation and sell the project to a film company. Giddings has previously produced Flypaper and Conan the Barbarian Motion Comic, and is also on of the producers of another Norwegian fantasy film, Thale (2012).

Mare in development
Ruben Eliassen is also writing the Mare series of fantasy books for children, and these books are also sold for film adaption. The books are about a young boy and his adventures at a circus. The film will be called The Dream Prince and is based on three Mare books, Circus, The Key, and Apocalypse. It’s the Spanish director Fernando Cortizo who will direct the film. His first film The Apostle was the world’s second stereoscopic stop-motion feature after Coraline, and The Dream Prince will also be a stereoscopic stop-motion feature. Producers are Marius Haugan and Daniel Dreifuss for Filmed Imagination in Los Angeles, and Isabel Rey of Artefacto Producciones in Spain. The film starts shooting in the fall of 2012 with a tentative fall 2014 premiere date.

Hansel and Gretel delayed
Expected to be a success, but now delayed from its original March 2nd premiere, is Tommy “Dead Snow” Wirkola’s Hollywood debut, fantasy actioner Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has been pushed back to January 11, 2013. Film website Cinemablend thinks the movie has been set to open then to avoid competition from other big movies. However, January has often been called a dumping period for movies that the studios don’t believe in. The 60 million dollar film will be finished in February, and is produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Hansel and Gretel stars Jeremy Renner (Mission Impossible 4) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace), with Famke Janssen (Goldeneye) and Peter Stormare (Jurassic Park) supporting.

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