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PRODUCTION Sweden

The Circle is closed: Levan Akin to direct shelved film project

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- Former ABBA member Benny Andersson's new production company will back the adaptation of the award-winning 'young adult fantasy book'

The Circle is closed: Levan Akin to direct shelved film project

Swedish director Levan Akin, who most recently was one of the directors of Swedish pubcaster SVT’s Real Humans (2012) television series, is back on the adaption of Swedish authors Sara Bergmark Elfgren and Mats Strandberg’s award-winning novel The Circle (2011), which will now be produced by a new company set up by former ABBA member Benny Andersson and his son, Ludvig Andersson.

According to Sweden’s DN, The Circle - part one of the Engelsfors trilogy, which has been sold to 21 countries - was originally acquired by Sweden’s Filmlance for Akin to film, but the authors lost faith in the project and withdrew from the production which was subsequently shelved.

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Ludvig Andersson told his father about the book, and Benny Andersson, who participated in the production of UK director Phyllida Lloyd’s music film Mamma Mia! [+see also:
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(2008) – together instigated RMV Film and negotiated the purchase of Engelsfors rights from Filmlance.

A “young adult fantasy book,” the Bergmark Elfgren-Strandberg’s novel follows six teenage girls – all first-year students at the same secondary school, otherwise with little in common - who discover they are witches and have been chosen to save the world from an alien evil.

The Anderssons have signed Swedish producer Cecilia Norman Mardell to run RMV Film, and Akin, whose feature debut was Certain People (2011), is now scripting The Circle with one of the authors, Bergmark Elfgren. Production will start early next year.

Benny Andersson is also active on the music front: with ABBA colleague Björn Ulvaeus and Swedish DJ-record producer Avicii, he has signed We Write the Story – the signature of Sweden hosting the finale of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest on May 18. In 1974, ABBA’s Waterloo won the contest.

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