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Studiocanal, Disney to Release ‘Hundred-Year-Old Man’

Comedy is based on Jonas Jonasson’s bestseller

PARIS — Studiocanal is joining forces with Disney Nordic to roll out the bigscreen adaptation of Jonas Jonasson’s book “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared,” which has sold 5 million copies in 35 countries.

Disney Nordic will release the pic across Scandinavia Dec. 25, while TeleMunchen will distribute it in Germany and Austria, and Wild Bunch in Benelux.

Studiocanal will roll out the pic in France, the U.K. and Australia, and will rep it in the international market, kicking off sales at next week’s Cannes Film Market.

Swedish up-and-comer Felix Herngren, creator of hit comedy skein “Solsidan,” has assembled a cast of Swedish thesps, including Robert Gustafsson, Mia Skaringer and Johan Rheborg plus Blighty’s Alan Ford.

Described as “quirky and utterly unique” by Studiocanal, pic turns on a healthy centenarian who escapes his nursing home to embark on an unplanned journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash and some unpleasant criminals.

The Swedish-language comedy has already locked down distribution in key territories and is being pitched as a mainstream contender. That underscores the growing market for concept-driven local laffers with remake potential, which are now on every distributor’s radar following the success of “Intouchables,” among other homegrown comedies turned B.O. hits.

The pic can also tap into mature auds, top consumers of arthouse fare in Europe and beyond, and an increasingly attractive demo for distribs.

“All Together” a French-lingo comedy starring Jane Fonda, is one of last year’s commercially successful comedies skewing older.

The adventure element of “The Hundred-Year-Old Man, along with its emphasis on pure comedy, is also expected to broaden the pic’s appeal beyond that niche.

“The book is already establishing itself as a major brand around the world. For us as theatrical distributors, we think we have a winner based on what we saw so far of the powerful film adaptation the producers and our partners at Disney will be delivering at the end of the year,” sid Harold Van Lier, exec VP of international distribution at Studiocanal. “It is an incredibly cinematic story that is very warm and filled with feel-good humor. It will undoubtedly be one of the major films coming out of Scandinavia at the end of this year.”

Added Patrick Nebout, who is producing the film via Nice FLX Pictures, “It’s a saga with a universal theme, a big heart and a sense of humor that travels perfectly, moving millions of readers all over the world.”

The move reflects Studiocanal’s growing appetite for Scandi auteurs.

“Studiocanal aims to produce the best of European cinema and Scandinavia breeds a large pool of talented filmmakers and compelling literature whether in film or TV,” said Van Lier.

Paris-based Studiocanal previously collaborated with Swedish helmer Tomas Alfredson on “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and is working with Danish helmer Susanne Bier on the upcoming “Serena,” starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

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