It has been confirmed that, thanks to the creation by Benny Andersson and son Ludvig, of a new film production company RMV Film, the acclaimed youth novel Cirkeln (The Circle), is now certain to be made into a movie.
Benny says that he has been interested in the workings of the film industry since his involvement with Mamma Mia! The Movie. The drama about witches will become their first project.
The novels on which the film will be based are a great success and have been published in over 20 countries.
A company called Filmlance had previously bought the rights to the trilogy, and begun the film-making process. But at the beginning of 2012 their plans were put on hold after the authors announced that they no longer supported the project.
“We have far too much responsibility to our readers and the world we have created to be able to stand behind this production,” they wrote in a blog post.
When Ludvig first read Cirkeln two years ago he was charmed by it and when he later learned that plans to turn the book into a movie had stalled, he called his father.
“I was in an airport when Ludvig phoned and asked if I had read Cirkeln. I had just gone past a bookstore where it was in the shop window, so I bought it and read it,” said Benny.
Benny and Ludvig contacted Filmlance and reached an agreement to purchase the film rights and take over the project. So far Cirkeln is the only movie in the pipeline, but the idea is that there will be more eventually. RMV Film has the rights to the entire trilogy.
Benny told Dagens Nyheter: “Where we have a big advantage is that we don’t have to chase the money as hard as is usual. If we just get a script we like we can run with it. Although the budget is a little higher than for a normal Swedish film, it is not huge.”
Ludvig stressed, however, that they were not interested in just putting up the money for the film and that although the seasoned producer Cecilia Norman Mardell will manage the day to day work, both he and Benny will be very actively involved in the film.
“We want to be tangibly involved and believe that we have the knowledge to do that well,” he said.
But why is their first film a youth novel about witches?
Benny: “Why not? What else should it be? I think it’s fantastic that it’s about young women and their efforts to solve problems together. It’s interesting. And it’s good that it is not about five guys. Although there isn’t much ‘tits and ass’, I can promise you,” he said with a laugh.
Ludvig continued: “Even if you take away the magical aspects, there’s still a story about what it’s like to be young, about living in different family situations, about relationships and about being a teenager. Very good, real-life stories, and we want to make a movie that portrays that.”
Director Levan Akin has the ambition to make a film that is different from others in the genre and one that has its own expression. He explains, “With this story, we need not imitate others. We can let it find its own tone.”
The authors too are thrilled by the involvement of RMV Film.
Sara B Elfgrens said: “We are incredibly excited that the situation has resolved itself, and that we can start working again and to get a chance to work with Benny and Ludvig. You have to give yourself a little pinch on the arm.”
“Benny and Ludvig have this enormous enthusiasm and that means we all get to be fully enthusiastic too, which is amazing,” she continued.
“I want to put myself in a salt water tank and float for a week to digest this. I can’t even say it’s a dream come true, because who could have imagined that such an opportunity would show up here,” said Mats Strandberg.
Benny told icethesite that they are working towards a release date of late Summer or Autumn 2015 but that as yet they were undecided whether either he or Ludvig would write the score for the film.