It’s ups for Downs in Sweden: Breien’s comedy sold for Swedish remake
- Now exceeding 51,000 admissions in Norway, Norwegian director Bård Breien’s comedy Detective Downs has been sold for a Swedish remake
Following up on his feature debut The Art of Negative Thinking [+see also:
film profile](2006), which won top awards both in Germany and the Czech Republic, Norwegian director Bård Breien’s comedy Detective Downs [+see also:
film profile] was launched at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, where Svein Andre Hofsø won for Best Actor.
The story of a 28-year-old private investigator, Robert Bogerud, who is short of assignments – he suffers from Downs syndrome – is currently exceeding 51,000 admissions in Norway for Nordisk Filmdistribusjon. While Norwegian production outfit Friland has negotiated remake rights with two US companies since Austin, they have now been sold to Swedish producer Peter Kropenin, of Stockholm’s HOB.
The American producers wanted to place an “ordinary” actor in the lead, while Kropenin has previously worked with handicapped actors, as in Swedish director Lena Koppel’s The Importance of Tying Your Own Shoes [+see also:
film profile] (2011) and How Many Hugs Are There in the World? (lit/2013). “In general Norwegian films do not work that well in Sweden,” he said. “But I am sure a Swedish remake will.”
Produced by Asle Vatn and Pål Røed for Friland, with Bo Ehrhardt of Denmark’s Nimbus Film and Pavel Bercik of the Czech Republic’s Evolution, Detective Downs shows an extraordinary perception of police work, when he is assigned to the case of famous skater Olav Stjernen’s disappearance. The family just needs a harmless PI to calm down a wealthy and senile grandmother, but even Robert’s father, a real detective who is also on the case, is impressed.
Usually, Nordic remakes of films from neighbouring countries are rare. The most touring franchise is Danish director-writer duo Erik Balling-Henning Bahs’ The Olsen Gang, which was originally produced in 13 instalments between 1968 and 1981. It came out in a Norwegian version of 14 films between 1969 and 1999, and continued as The Olsen Junior Gang in six issues (2003-2010). In Sweden, the names were changed to The Jönsson League for eight features released between 1981 and 2000, adding comics and two computer games.
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