Producer teams on film rights for Norwegian fantasy-book series
Producer Gudrun Giddings has teamed with Daniel Marc Dreifuss and Marius Haugan to option film rights to Ruben Eliassen’s seven-book fantasy series “Phenomena.”The Norwegian novels revolve around a prophecy of the ancient magical scripture Phenomena that says two elf children will save the world from evil forces. Brother and sister Alk and Ilke realize they are the chosen ones for this exceptional task. Nicolay Nickelsen is co-producing the project that Filmed Imagination is developing. Eliassen is best known in Norway for his work in the music and advertising industries there. His first book in the “Phenomena” series, “Phenomena: Prophecy Selected,” was published in 2002. The latest book was published last fall. Dreifuss and Haugan are currently in pre-production on stop-motion pic “The Dream Prince,” based on Eliassen’s other book series, “Mare.” “We are pleased to add this fantastic world, where adventure and mystery abound, to our diverse slate,” the two said of “Phenomena.” Swedish-born Giddings, who recently produced the Patrick Dempsey starrer “Flypaper,” is the latest Hollywood-based producer to look to Scandinavia as a source for new projects after Sweden’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and “Let the Right One In,” Norway’s “Trollhunter” and Finland’s “Rare Exports” grabbed the attention of the majors as remake opportunities. More recently, Martin Scorsese has picked up film rights to Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbo’s “The Snowman,” while Summit and Swedish shingle Yellow Bird Films are adapting Nesbo’s “Headhunters.” “Scandinavia has a world of hidden gems, and ‘Phenomena’ is a treasure I believe can be enjoyed by a worldwide audience,” Giddings said. Giddings is also exec producing, together with Lars Helebust, the Norwegian psychological thriller “Thale,” now in post-production at Storm Studios in Oslo, with an eye toward remaking it for U.S. auds and selling it to foreign territories. “Thale,” produced by Yesbox Prods.’ Bendik Heggen Stronstad and helmed by Aleksander Nordaas, bows in the region next month. Shingle’s credits also includes “Kano” and “Circle.” Pic revolves around mythological creature the Hulder, a beautiful woman with long blond hair and a long cow’s tail who lives in the Scandinavian woods and seduces men.