Daniel Espinosa (Child 44) is set to adapt Vilhelm Moberg’s acclaimed novel The Emigrants for major Scandinavanian distributor and financier Svensk. The Emigrants tells the story of Kristina and her husband Karl-Oskar, who emigrate from Sweden to America in the 1850s. Determined to flee poverty, religious persecution, and social oppression, they head across the Atlantic in search of a better life.  An earlier adaptation was made in 1971 by Jan Troell was nominated for five Academy Awards and won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.  Petter Skavlan (Kon Tiki) is writing the script with Svensk’s Fredrik Wikström Nicastro producing and Film i Väst co-producing. Shooting is scheduled to begin in 2017, in the Västra Götaland region of western Sweden.“To be able to walk in Jan Troell’s footprints fills one with great humbleness and I wouldn’t have accepted the challenge had it not been for the alarming topicality the novel still has,” commented Espinosa. “Today, as the Mediterranean is filled with breakable boats and life stories, just like the Atlantic was during the 1850s, then, as now, someone makes a decision to try to give his or her children a better life.”

K5 International has come on-board to finance  Se7en screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker’s Psycho Killer, a serial killer thriller in the same vein as David Fincher’s 1995 classic. The story follows a nameless murderer, wearing a nightmarish mask, randomly murdering people across the U.S. in an attempt to secure his passage to hell. A patrolman’s pregnant wife, a fellow police officer, witnesses the killer murdering her husband and seeks to bring him to justice. Gavin Polone, who served as producer on Zombieland and Panic Room, is directing.  Matt Berenson (A Place Beyond the Pines) produces. 

Taike Waititi
Taike Waititi
Copyright 2015 Protagonist Pictures

Australian/New Zealand film company Curious is ramping up its production slate. Taika Waititi’s comic adventure Hunt For The Wilderpeople begins production May 18 in New Zealand. The film, stars Sam Neill (Peaky Blinders) and Julian Dennison (Paper Planes). Waititi will produce with Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders and Matt Noonan. Madman Entertainment has acquired all rights for Australia and New Zealand and will release in NZ in partnership with the producers. Protagonist Pictures is selling. Also on the slate is Pat Nalin’s Beyond the Known World , Virginia Heath’s Mystery Ride, starring Sam Neil, Peter Mullan and Frances O’Connor. Producers are Lene Bausager of Ugly Duckling Films, Faction North’s Grant Keir and Matt Noonan. TrustNordisk is handling international sales.