SF Studios is joining forces with Antti J. Jokinen’s leading Finnish production banner Cinematic Inc. to develop and produce the animated feature “Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared,” adapted from Sofi Oksanen’s bestseller.
“Comet in Moominland” and “When the Doves Disappeared” are being made by both companies as part of a five-picture deal. SF Studios and Cinematic Inc. are already working together on the ambitious action thriller franchise “Omerta” which comprises of two feature films represented in international markets by Reinvent Studios, and a series that will premiere on C More, the Swedish streamer.
“Comet in Moominland,” based on the near-cult Finnish comicbooks created by Tove Jansson, is a remake of Hiroshi Saito’s 1992 classic animation film “Moomin,” which was itself a remake of
Tim Livson, the son of the producer of original producer of “Comet in Moominland,” is co-producing the new film through his banner Kindernet Entertainment), along with Jokinen and Sara Norberg at Cinematic.
Jokinen said the remake will be faithful to the classical hand-drawn animation style and tone created by Saito, animator Yasuhiro Nakura and writer Akira Miyazaki, but will will be updated to appeal contemporary audiences. The feature will be made in 4K, and boast a new original score and dubbing in multiple languages, including Finish, Swedish, German, Spanish and Japanese. Jokinen said the animated film will also be made using artificial intelligence.
Now in production, “Comet in Moominland” will be released this fall, in time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Moomins. C More, the Swedish streamer, and MTV have acquired the streaming and TV rights in Finland.
“We totally share SF Studios’s ambition to expand their international profile with compelling stories that can appeal audiences around the world,” said Jokinen. “We’re both looking to grow our presence in international markets and SF Studios gives us the necessary resources to develop these projects and to have a wide distribution across the Nordics,” said Jokinen. He said the Nordic film industry has evolved tremendously in the last few years while many local actors such as Jasper Pääkkönen (“BlacKkKlansman,” “Vikings”) have become international stars which helps finance bigger projects.
“When the Doves Disappeared,” meanwhile, is based Sofi Oksanen’s books which have been published in more than 50 languages. Marko Leino (“Helene,” “Purge”) is writing the script. A director will be announced later this year.
“When the Doves Disappeared” takes place in Estonia during and after World War II. Oksanen’s novel chronicles the changes that shook up Estonia during the war and is told through the eyes of an Estonian family.
Pääkkönen will headline “Omerta,” a hostage thriller revolving around a secret unit of European special forces. The project will mark Pääkkönen’s comeback to Finnish filmmaking after a six years working in the U.S. The popular actor who just finished shooting Spike Lee’s new film for Netflix. The two feature films, titled “Omerta 6/12” and “Omerta 7/12,” will be shooting over 80 days and will released SF Studios across Scandinavia during the fall of 2021 and 2022, respectively.
“The scale and ambition of all the films are unique in the Nordics and strongly reflect SF Studios’ ambition to be a leading local distributor and executive producer of films that will hit # 1 box office in the coming decade,” said Yaba Holst, the executive Producer and head of nordic acquisition at SF Studios.