Thesps to play alongside Mikael Persbrandt

LONDON — Lena Olin and Finnish actor Tobias Zilliacus have joined Mikael Persbrandt as the leading cast in Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hypnotist,” his first Swedish film for 24 years.

Adapted from Lars Kepler’s international bestseller, it’s a thriller about a psychiatrist (Persbrandt) who reluctantly agrees to help a detective (Zilliacus) by using hypnosis to uncover the identity of a serial killer.

Olin, who is married to Hallstrom, plays the hypnotist’s wife.

The pic, which is intended to be the start of a franchise, will start shooting in January, to be released October 2012 in Sweden. It’s produced by Borje Hansson and Peter Possne for Svensk Filmindustr and Sonet Film. Exec producer is Bertil Ohlsson, who produced Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

In other example of the global demand for Scandinavian crime stories, Svensk has pre-sold the project to more than 30 countries. Distribs include Studiocanal in the U.K., TF1 in France, Prokino in German-speaking territories, Hopscotch/E1 in Australia and New Zealand, Aurum in Spain, Keowon in Korea, UA in Hong Kong, Alfa Films in Argentina, Lumiere in Benelux, Cineplex in Colombia, EEAP in Eastern Europe, Rosebud in Greece and Levi in Israel.

Kepler’s 2009 novel has sold more than 600,000 copies in Sweden alone.

Hallstrom’s most recent film was “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

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