There have been almost as many film adaptions made as books written by Astrid Lindgren, and some have even been filmed in multiple versions. Most of the films were made in the 1960s and 70s, and they are loved in many countries across the globe. The truth is that a lot of people found the books by first watching the films.
The first screen adaptation of a book by Astrid Lindgren was Kalle Blomkvist - Master Detective. The film premiered as early as 1947, only a year after the book had been published. The next film project was Pippi Longstocking, released in 1949. Astrid Lindgren was not happy with the result or with the fact that an adult woman was playing the part of Pippi. Astrid then decided that in the future she would take responsibility for all the work on the screenplays.
In most cases Astrid Lindgren wrote the screenplays to her films herself and they became an important part of her life as an author and artist. It was, simply put, of great consequence to her that her stories weren’t misrepresented or interpreted in a way that she didn’t feel corresponded to what she had written.
Astrid Lindgren was always very interested in the creation of the films. She often visited the sets in order to get to know the actors, and in order to make sure that everything was done as well as it could be.
It’s now been quite a few years since most of the films were made and the demand for new adaptations from audiences, as well as from film companies and producers, is huge. The Astrid Lindgren Company is zealously working on making Astrid Lindgren’s work accessible on film again in new versions. The latest example is the animated and Emmy-awarded TV-version of Ronja, the Robber's Daughter, directed by Goro Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli in Tokyo, and released in Japan in 2014. Since then the TV series has been sold to almost 30 countries around the world for TV, DVD, Blue Ray and digital distribution.
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When it comes to Astrid Lindgren films in other languages it is not quite so easy. Outside the Nordic region the Belgian company Studio 100 owns the distribution rights to the Pippi and Emil films (as well as the animated Pippi and Karlsson on the Roof). However, SF sells the distribution rights for the remaining films in the catalogue to various distributors outside the Nordic region.
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STUDIOCANAL, Heyday Films and The Astrid Lindgren Company announced in October 2019 that they are in early development on a film adaptation of PIPPI LONGSTOCKING. This project reunites STUDIOCANAL and Heyday following their successful collaboration on PADDINGTON 1 & 2.
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johan.palmberg (a) astridlindgren.se