W2 gets remake rights for ‘Princess’

Company to finance English language version of Finnish feature

W2 Media has acquired English language remake rights to Arto Halonen’s Finnish feature “Princess,” based on the life story of cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen.

The announcement was made Sunday at the American Film Market by W2 Media CEO John Flock.

W2 Media will fully finance the English language remake and will also handle worldwide sales for the new English language version. W2’s Julie Sultan, president of international sales & distribution, brought the project to W2.

The original “Princess” is an Art Films production AFP OY and stars Finnish actors Katja Kuttner, Samuli Edelmann, Krista Kosonen and Peter Franzen. It’s fiction film debut of documentary filmmaker Arto Halonen, director of “Shadow of the Holy Book,” “Pavlov’s Dogs” and “The Magnetic Man.”

Story centers on Lappalainen’s redemptive struggle with insanity and is set in 1945, when Finland’s Kellokoski Psychiatric Hospital accepts the former cabaret dancer. Diagnosed with manic depression and schizophrenia, she refuses to answer to her real name, insisting instead that she is a princess and a member of the British royal family — generating a surprisingly positive effect on the exhausted hospital staff, the quirky patients, and even the local villagers.

In 1995, her memory was honored by a memorial monument in the Kellokoski hospital grounds designed by sculptor Rauni Liukko.

The original screenplay for “Princess” was written by Pirjo Toikka, Arto Halonen and Paavo Westerberg. Pic was released in Finland in September 2010 and led the Finnish box office for many weeks.

It’s also played at multiple film festivals, winning awards at the Cape Winelands Film Festival, the Festroia International Film Festival in Portugal, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia and the Goteborg International Film Festival.

W2 Media recently announced it’s co-financing and handling foreign sales on biopic “The Drummer,” starring Aaron Eckhart as Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, and “The Theatre Bizarre 2,” which W2 is co-financing, selling, and distributing theatrically in the U.S.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

  • ‘Bears Famous Invasion’s Lorenzo Mattotti Brings

    Lorenzo Mattotti on MIA Title ‘Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily’

    Illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti is no stranger to film festivals. The artist – a long-time New Yorker cover artist and onetime Lou Reed and Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator – has designed posters for past editions of Venice and Cannes, and has contributed to films that played in Toronto and Rome. This year, however, he experienced the festival [...]

  • Dreamworks Abominable

    'Abominable' Release in Malaysia Abandoned

    Plans to release the increasingly controversial Chinese-U.S. co-produced animation film “Abominable” in Malaysia have been dropped after the distributor said that it would not be cut to cater to political sensitivities. The film includes a scene which depicts a map showing the South China Sea and the so called “nine-dash line” that China uses to [...]

  • Hui He

    RAI Com Takes World Sales on Italy/China Doc About Star Soprano Hui He (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italy’s RAI Com has taken world sales on high-profile documentary “Hui He, the Soprano From the Silk Road,” which is about the personal and artistic journey of one of the world’s leading sopranos and also marks a milestone Italian-Chinese co-production. Hui He was born and trained as a singer in the Chinese city of Xi’an, [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content