×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nordisk Film to Produce Feature Film, Miniseries About ‘Out of Africa’s’ Karen Blixen

Nordisk Film is developing “The Lioness,” an international feature film and a miniseries about Karen Blixen, the Danish author best known for her autobiographical novel “Out of Africa,” which Sydney Pollack adapted into the 1985 pic starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

The film and miniseries will be written by Jakob Weis (“That Time of Year”), based on two upcoming books by acclaimed author and historian Tom Buk-Swienty, and will chronicle Blixen’s life as a coffee farmer in Kenya from 1914 to 1931.

Set in the early 20th century, Buk-Swienty’s biography tells the story of a young upper-class Danish woman who sought independence from her overbearing Victorian family and hoped to make it as a coffee farmer in colonial Kenya.

“After 17 years of hardship, marked by World War I, poor harvests due to various natural disasters, the onset of the Great Depression and her tragic love affair with Denys Finch Hatton, she is finally forced to abandon her beloved African farm, which ended up giving her many more hair-raising adventures than she had bargained for,” said Nordisk Film.

Buk-Swienty, who had access to exclusive material documenting the Karen Coffee Company, shows Blixen as a pioneering female CEO in charge of more than 1,000 workers and describes her complicated relationship with her uncle, the wealthy businessman Aage Westenholz.

“She loved and admired the Africans, and in her relentless struggle for the rights of her ‘black brothers,’ as she called the native people, she was way ahead of her time,” added Buk-Swienty, whose biography, also titled “The Lioness,” will be published in August.

Blixen wrote “Out of Africa” under the pen name Isak Dinesen.

Mikael Rieks (“Land of Mine”), producer at Nordisk Film Production, said the film and miniseries will “depict the period in Karen Blixen’s life when she steps into the role of businesswoman and adventurer, presenting a highly fascinating portrait of a very modern woman whose life resonates deeply with the fundamental issues of our times.”

“More than 30 years ago, Karen Blixen’s story took the world by storm in Sydney Pollack’s ‘Out of Africa’ starring Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer. It is therefore with great humility that we now carry on the torch,” Rieks said.

Nordisk Film will also collaborate with Buk-Swienty on “The Great Dane,” a biopic about the life of Danish scientist Niels Bohr. Buk-Swienty will write a biography of Bohr, which is expected to be published in 2022.

Rieks said the partnership with Buk-Swienty is the “culmination of a year-long search for the right collaboration to turn the lives of two of the greatest Danes who ever lived into film.”

More Film

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jacek Bednarczyk/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

    Jonas Mekas, Influential Experimental Filmmaker, Dies at 96

    Jonas Mekas, the Lithuania-born filmmaker who started Film Culture magazine and the organization that became New York’s Anthology Film Archives, died Wednesday. He was 96. Anthology Film Archives wrote on Instagram, “He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.” View this post on Instagram Dear Friends, Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early [...]

  • Annapurna Hire

    Annapurna Ups Sue Naegle to Chief Content Officer, Names Ivana Lombardi President of Film

    Sue Naegle has been named chief content officer at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Naegle joined the company as head of television in 2016, and will now oversee development and production in film, TV, video games, and the company’s fledgling theater division. As part of the reorganization, Ivana Lombardi has been named president of film, a [...]

  • Michael B Jordan Warner Bros

    Michael B. Jordan Signs First-Look Deal With Warner Bros.

    “Black Panther” and “Creed II” star Michael B. Jordan has signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. for his production company Outlier Society. The deal was announced Wednesday by Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. The studio noted that the alliance marks a continuation of their partnership following the unveiling of a [...]

  • Sandra Bullock Reborn

    Sandra Bullock Re-Teams With Netflix to Produce Sci-Fi Movie 'Reborn'

    Sandra Bullock is re-teaming with Netflix to produce the science-fiction movie “Reborn” for the streaming service. Chris McKay has been signed to direct the comic book adaptation. “It” producer Vertigo Entertainment is also on board to produce. Bullock starred in the Netflix movie “Bird Box,” which has been viewed in more than 80 million households, [...]

  • A still from Mike Wallace Is

    Portrait Docus Dominate at Sundance

    It’s not entirely surprising that portrait documentaries dominate this year’s Sundance nonfiction lineup. Two of the biggest nonfiction films of 2018 – “RBG” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – are profile films that premiered at last year’s Sundance and later made the Oscar docu shortlist. The success of both docs could help explain why [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content