Tom Hanks is tackling an adaptation of the international best-selling novel A Man Called Ove.
Hanks is attached to star in the project and will produce with his Playtone banner partner Gary Goetzman. Rita Wilson, Hanks’ wife and frequent producing partner, is also producing along with Fredrik Wikstrom Nicastro, it was announced Thursday. Nicastro hails from SF Studios, one of the companies behind the upcoming tennis drama Borg vs. McEnroe. He also executive produced the Swedish-language adaptation.
The 2012 book by Fredrik Backman centers on a cantankerous widower who seems to revel in his bitterness and loneliness even as his frequent attempts at suicide seem to be thwarted by bad timing and bad luck. His life, however, takes a turn toward the unexpected when a mixed-race couple with two young daughters move into the neighborhood, leading to a heartwarming and life-affirming friendship.
The book hit No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list and remained on the list for a consecutive 77 weeks. It has been translated into 43 languages.
The original local-language film adaptation, directed by Hannes Holm, was nominated for two Academy Awards earlier this year and was the highest-grossing foreign-language film in the U.S. in 2016. In addition, the pic was awarded the best comedy prize at the European Film Awards in 2016.
“I strongly believe that A Man Called Ove is a universal story that resonates strongly with an American and international audience,” said Nicastro in a statement. “Making this film with one of the world’s best and most acclaimed actors gives A Man Called Ove the best possible opportunity to once again touch the hearts of audiences worldwide.”
Said Wilson: “This story about love, tolerance and hope amplifies the qualities in movies that are hallmarks of the classic films we know and love. A Man Called Ove transcended the language barrier to touch readers and audiences in ways we long for.”