Maipo starts ‘Elling’ prequel

Ellefsen, Isaksen on board for next pic

COPENHAGEN — Norwegian production outfit Maipo Film & TV Produksjon will begin casting “Mummy’s Elling” next week. Pic is the prequel to Petter Naess’ Oscar-nominated “Elling,” which broke local box office records.

The Norwegian Film Fund will chip in half of the $2 million budget.

Per Christian Ellefsen will make his second appearance as Elling. Naess, who has started another project for Maipo, will be replaced by Eva Isaksen.

“There are four books about the character, and ‘Mummy’s Elling’ is based on the first two. That leaves one for a sequel, which we will shoot afterwards,” explained Maipo CEO and producer Dag Alveberg. Axel Hellstenius has scripted the story about the mentally retarded Elling, who goes to Spain with his mother, who is seriously ill.

“Mummy’s Elling,” which is included in Maipo’s four-picture Scandinavian distribution deal with Universal, will shoot from mid-March 2003 in Oslo and Spain. The first film in the series was licensed to 18 territories including the U.S., where First Look Pictures took rights.

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