Benny Andersson and his son Ludvig have confirmed that production of their supernatural youth fantasy movie Cirkeln (The Circle) is now in full swing and that filming will commence on 31 March 2014.
Based on the first opus of Mats Strandberg and Sara B. Elfgren’s best-selling Swedish trilogy, Engelsfors, the production is creating quite a buzz within the film industry and has been described as one of the most ambitious and internationally driven projects to come out of Scandinavia.
Ludvig said: “We’re looking to make a supernatural film which is character-driven and has a depth that goes beyond a teenage fantasy. In terms of style and substance, we envision the film much closer to Let The Right One In, than Twilight.”
Set in a small Swedish industrial town, the story centres around six teenage girls from very different backgrounds who join forces after discovering they are all witches.
Sara B Elfgren, one of the novel’s original co-authors, has joined forces with Levan Akin the film’s director to write the screenplay, while Cecilia Norman Mardell, a former top-level drama producer at Swedish television broadcaster SVT, will produce the film and Roger Rosenberg, whose credits include Swedish hit ‘Snabba Cash’, has joined the team as production designer.
Victoria Svanell, who last worked on Anna Odell’s critically acclaimed debut The Reunion, is currently casting for the project across four cities and according to Ludvig, they have already found six amazing girls for the lead roles, most of whom are still unknown.
The Circle will be produced via Benny and Ludvig’s recently launched production company, RMV Film, which is based in Stockholm.
Ludvig explained: “We chose to finance The Circle ourselves in order to maintain full creative freedom, but our next step is to find partners in foreign territories and RMV are therefore currently in negotiations with an international distributor and sales agent.”
He added: “We will give the green light to the franchise’s second opus (Fire), just weeks after The Circle premieres – providing that it performs well at the box office.”
Benny, who made his film debut as executive producer on the big screen adaptation of Mamma Mia! said:
“When I worked on Mamma Mia! The Movie, I realised how much I enjoyed being involved in the film production process. It’s a somewhat different experience from producing for the theatre as the set-up for all the creative departments is much more elaborate. The big advantage, as I see it, is that once the film is in the can, your job is done! In the theatre (as a producer) you are only half way there when the show opens.”
Benny added that: “Although the production company is currently focusing all its resources on The Circle, we hope it will eventually open up to other projects.”
Benny and Ludvig will collaborate on the composition of the film’s score, which they say will be ‘pop-rock’ orientated. Benny will oversee it, while Ludvig, who has enjoyed some success in Sweden both as a musician with his bands Ella Rouge and Atlas, and as a music producer, will handle some of the pop songs.
The Circle is scheduled for release in the late summer or early autumn of 2015.