SF Studios has announced the making of an American film adaptation of Fredrick Backman’s Swedish novel A Man Called Ove, a heartwarming comedy of an unexpected, life-changing friendship, to be directed by Marc Forster and starring Tom Hanks. The book sold over 7 million copies worldwide and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 77 consecutive weeks since its release in 2012.
This will be SF Studios’ second adaptation of the 2012 novel. The company produced a Swedish version in 2015, which garnered immense critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Foreign-Language Film. It was also the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the U.S. in 2016.
SF Studios is partnering with Rita Wilson to produce the project, whose past projects include Mama Mia! (2008) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). “Fredrik Backman wrote a novel that has entertained, moved, and inspired countless readers through his character of Ove. The humanity of the story has resonated with people all over the world, including myself.”
Forster had this to say about the upcoming project: “When I first read Fredrik Backman’s novel, I fell in love with the notion that friendship has the power to shape a person’s life. I can’t wait to create a film with so much humor and heart alongside Tom and Rita.” Forster’s previous work includes Christopher Robin (2018), Finding Neverland (2004), and Monsters Ball (2001).
Hanks will also produce alongside Playtone partner Gary Goetzman. Hanks’ previous roles in Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994) earned him Academy Awards for Best Actor. Hanks’ latest film Finch was released on Apple TV+ in 2021.
Two-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter David Magee is to adapt the novel. He has adapted other books for the big screen, such as Life of Pi (2012), and co-wrote Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid (2023).
Production is set to begin later this year.