Tom Hanks is attached to star in a remake of A Man Called Ove, the Oscar nominated Hannes Holm-directed Swedish comedy that became the highest grossing foreign language film released in the U.S. in 2016. Pic will be produced by Playtone partners Hanks and Gary Goetzman, along with Rita Wilson and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro for Nordic major SF Studios.
Hanks will play the protagonist, a grumpy widower whose overall unhappiness is exacerbated when he is unceremoniously dumped as chairman of the neighborhood association where he lives. Pushed into retirement in his job on top of all else, Ove gives up and resolves to commit suicide. Every attempt is interrupted by some circumstance that leads him to help a needy neighbor. In the process, Ove develops new relationships that lead him on an unusual journey of introspection and caring for others, even if he never gives up on his attempts to end it all. Pic won Best Comedy prize at the European Film Awards in 2016. It is based on Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel.
“I strongly believe that A Man Called Ove is a universal story that resonates strongly with an American and international audience,” Nicastro said. “Making this film with one of the world’s best and most acclaimed actors gives A Man Called Ove the best possible opportunity to once again touch the hearts of audiences worldwide.” It’s part of an SF Studios attempt to produce English language films for the global market, sourced from Nordic IP and talent. That includes the Janus Metz-directed Borg/McEnroe, which premiered at Toronto, and will be followed by: Horizon Line, a thriller by 10 Cloverfield Lane scribes Josh Campbell & Matt Stuecken, and the Jo Nesbo novel adaptation I Am Victor, which Baltasar Kormakur will direct from script by 007 writers Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.
“This story about love, tolerance and hope amplifies the qualities in movies that are hallmarks of the classic films we know and love,” comments Rita Wilson.
Hanks next stars in the Steven Spielberg-directed The Post, playing Ben Bradlee to Meryl Streep’s Kay Graham as the Washington Post navigated the leak of the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times was prohibited from continuing its publication of the classified documents that showed Americans were not being told the truth about troop buildup in Vietnam, or the fact that the country was mired in an unwinnable war. The Washington Post took the baton and played a key role in ensuring the Pentagon Papers were made public. Pic was mounted as a DreamWorks and Fox co-production, with the latter releasing January 12 after the picture qualifies for Oscars. Hanks is repped by CAA.