Oscar-winning Pelle the Conqueror will have sequel from Fly
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
24/05/2012 - Pelle the Conqueror is ready for another conquest: Danish director Bille August’s 1989 Oscar winner for Best Foreign-Language Feature, which also bagged the Golden Palm in Cannes and the Golden Globe, will have a sequel from Danish director Per Fly (pictured) and Swedish writer Peter Birro, who are currently filming the Monica Zetterlund biopic, Monica Z – A Lingonberry in a Cocktail, in Sweden.
After six years of negotiations, Danish producer Meta Louise Foldager and former chief of Danish pubcaster DR Kenneth Plummer have acquired the rights for volumes 2-4 of Danish socialist writer Martin Andersen Nexø’s novel, from his Danish and German inheritants.
“From the beginning, I thought Pelle the Conqueror 2 had Fly written above it,” she told Danish film magazine Ekko. Fly’s credits include the multi-award-winning trilogy The Bench (Bænken), The Heritage (Arven) and Manslaughter [trailer] (Drabet) – the latter garnered him the Nordic Council Film Prize.
Nexø wrote his novel between 1906-1910 – part one is set in the late 19th century, when a boat of Swedish immigrants – including Pelle and his father - arrives at the Danish island of Bornholm. “We are in the early process, so we are not quite sure which period the film will cover – except it will be about Pelle, who has left his father to go to Copenhagen, and the labour movement in the early 1900s,” said Foldager.
Produced by Per Holst, August’s version and his international break starring Swedish actor Max von Sydow and Danish newcomer Pelle Hvenegaard won Denmark’s second Academy Award, after Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast, in 1988. Nexø’s book was first adapted by Christian Steinke for a DDR-FS television movie, Pelle der Eroberer, in 1986’s East Germany.
Foldager will stage the sequel, with Plummer as executive producer, for her own Meta Film, which she started with producer Sara Namer. As in-house producer with Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments, she is credited for, among others, three Lars von Trier films and most recently, Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s local award-winning A Royal Affair [trailer, film focus].