Euro Beat: Jo Nesbø Brings OCCUPIED To TV, Plus Paris Gets A Drive-In Movie Theater

Brian Clark, European Editor
If you don't know the work of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, you will very soon. Not only has a U.S. adaptation of his wacky thriller Headhunters (already adapted quite well in Norway by Morten Tyldum) been confirmed, but a U.S. version of The Snowman, featuring his recurring detective Harry Hole is also in development, though sadly no longer with Martin Scorsese directing as previously reported.

And now, news has broken that Nesbø's work is coming to the small screen as well.  Erik Skoldbjaerg, director of Insomnia (the one Christopher Nolan remade) will be working with the Swedish production house responsible for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films to create a ten-episode series called Occupied, based on an original idea by Nesbø. Here's the pitch, which sounds very promising indeed:

Occupied is set in a near-future after Russia has quietly occupied Norway to seize the country's oil resources. The series is described as a multi-layered political thriller looking at what happens to a nation under invasion.

Skoldbjaerg will "set up the concept of the series" and direct the first two episodes. Harald Rosenloew Eeg (Troubled Water, A Thousand times Goodnight) will serve as head writer. If it's as good as it sounds, expect a U.S. remake in a couple years, only with Russians occupying Texas instead.

But wait! There's more Nesbø news! Norwegian director Arild Fröhlich has began filming Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder, an adaptation of Nesbø's children's novel of the same name. Just for fun, let's compare the synopsis for this one with that of Occupied

The story focuses on a crazy inventor who is very proud of his latest achievement - his fart powder is so strong that is can be used for a rocket propulsion. While his friends are enthusiastic about this invention there are other kind types who are more interested in this explosive powder.
 
An Old School American Drive-In Theater Opens In Paris... Sort Of

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From June 10 to 21, The Grand Palais in Paris is partnering with distributor/exhibitor MK2 and transforming itself into a drive-in movie theater. The event, dubbed Cinema Paradiso, will offer a chance to watch classic American films either from a hill, or in the seat of a Fiat 500 automobile. The movies include The Big Lebowski, Taxi Driver, Psycho and two nights of Grease. To round out the 60's Americana cliché, there will be also be a diner serving bacon and eggs and cheeseburgers, a roller-skating rink and an old school arcade.
 
Unfortunately, the French love American nostalgia even more than I previously thought, and all of the screenings sold out immediately after going on sale. But there's still hope! The Grand Palais and MK2 will announce a new set of films as well as information on when tickets go on sale on May 6 at exactly 1:00pm, France-time.

In Brief

-European exhibitors are going through the same stubborn debate about theatrical release windows that American ones faced several years ago. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes recently called for more flexibility on this issue, an action which was met with harsh resistance from exhibitors. According to a statement released by a Euro exhibitor lobby group, UNIC, "an exclusive and sustainable theatrical window" is "the only means to finance the wealth of European films that exists today."

-Ken Loach will begin shooting Jimmy's Hall in Ireland this summer. The film concerns an Irish Communist Leader, James Gralton, who opened a dance hall and used it to push his political views. Gralton is the only person to ever be deported from Ireland. So no, Loach is not softening his political leanings in his old age.

- Mike Leigh's JMW Turner biopic is set to start shooting next month! Yay!

Box Office

The numbers from last week aren't quite in yet, but rest-assured, Iron Man 3 probably obliterated the competition all over Europe, where it opened a week ahead of the United States. Already, it's opening set a new box office record in Italy, where it reportedly took in $11.3 million, the biggest opening ever for the country in April.

In the pre-Iron Man 3-release world, Oblivion was king, coming in at number one in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain. In the UK, it was beaten out by the opening weekend of Olympus has Fallen, which earned $3.4 million. Meanwhile, France celebrated its own mediocre cinema, with the comedies The Professors and The Boys opening strongly at $6.5 million and $3.1 million, respectively. Denmark also opted for local cinema, with the top slot going to the crime-drama Northwest. Finally, for reasons known only to them, Italy and Finland both awarded the box office crown to Scary Movie 5.
Around the Internet:
  • mightyjoeyoung

    "Erik Skoldbjaerg, director of Insomnia (the one Christopher Nolan remade) will be working with the Swedish production house responsible for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films to create a ten-episode series called Occupied, based on an original idea by Nesbø."

    I like his stuff, he is talented, but set in the future...?

    Couldn´t they just make another WW2 story again...?

    Must be other stories to tell about the norwegian resistance, apart from Max Manus.....

    "Just for fun, let's compare the synopsis for this one with that of Occupied:"

    hahahahhaa...hell yeah......fart powder is the stuff.....maybe Nesbø should make a collegefilm as well, just like Hjelp, vi er russ(2011).

    "So no, Loach is not softening his political leanings in his old age. "

    Of course not, Loach will be red until he dies......I´m hoping that Paul Laverty is involved though, Loach has done some really great stuff with him.

    "- Mike Leigh's JMW Turner biopic is set to start shooting next month! Yay!"

    Now that´s some serious good news!

    "The numbers from last week aren't quite in yet, but rest-assured, Iron Man 3 probably obliterated the competition all over Europe, where it opened a week ahead of the United States."

    I´m not surprised by that.
    "for reasons known only to them, Italy and Finland both awarded the box office crown to Scary Movie 5."
    Well......this franchise appeals to alot of people....why, I don´t know.
    Thanks for the wrap up, Mr Clark.

    So no, Loach is not softening his political leanings in his old age.

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