Tove Jansson’s iconic The Summer Book becomes film with Glenn Close as lead actress
Next summer, an island in the beautiful Finnish archipelago will be buzzing with life when the shooting of the film based on author and artist Tove Jansson’s beloved novel The Summer Book, a classic and bestseller within Nordic fiction, begins. The film will be directed by Charlie McDowell (Windfall, The one I love) and starred by eight-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close and Anders Danielsen Lie, a Norwegian actor who was also Academy Award-nominated for the film The Worst Person in the World.
Director Charlie McDowell, a Tove Jansson and Moomin fan himself, says the novel is very dear to him:
“I’m deeply honored to be adapting one of my favorite novels, Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, and to film in Finland, the beautiful country in which this story is based. It’s long been a dream of mine to work with Glenn Close. I’ve long admired her thoughtfulness, immense versatility, and deeply captivating presence both on the stage and on screen. I first discovered Anders Danielsen Lie from his brilliant collaborations with Joachim Trier and he’s quickly become one of my favorite actors out of Scandinavia. I can’t imagine a more magnificent duo to collaborate with on this film.”
The Summer Book – a personal favorite of Tove Jansson
The Summer Book is the most beloved of Tove Jansson’s adult fiction novels, with readers all over the globe returning to it year after year for summer reading. Written in 1972 by Tove Jansson, it’s a life-affirming story about the friendship between an elderly artist and Sophia, her six-year-old grand-daughter while away a summer together on a tiny island in the gulf of Finland. The book was very personal for Tove Jansson, and it was also one of her favorites. It has been hailed as a masterpiece by critics and audiences alike and been translated into 35 languages. For Tove Jansson’s niece Sophia Jansson it also feels very special to see such a dear story on a movie screen:
“The Summer Book is dear to many readers around the world and it holds a very special place in my heart. Every word of it ushers in vivid childhood memories of my beloved grandmother – her voice, her way of relating to and moving around the island. Seeing that story finally come alive on the big screen will be fantastic and moving on a deeply personal level.”
Sophia Jansson is often asked whether the girl Sophia in the book is based on her.
Acclaimed actors take on the adult roles
Eight-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close, who recently completed filming on two features for Netflix: director Seth Gordon’s action-comedy “Back in Action” and Lee Daniels’ exorcism thriller “The Deliverance”, has been a fixture within the entertainment industry for half a century.
Joining her in the role as the father is Anders Danielsen Lie, who earned rave reviews and international acclaim for the recent Academy Award nominated film The Worst Person in the World.
Charlie McDowell is a writer, director and producer. His directorial debut, The one I love, starred Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss and got rave reviews when it premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In 2017, McDowell co-wrote and directed The Discovery starring Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Jesse Plemons and Robert Redford and recently released Windfall on Netflix in 2021 with Lily Collins, Jesse Plemons and Jason Segal.
The Summer Book film production team
Adapted for the screen by Robert Jones and co-financed by High Frequency Entertainment and Hurst Capital, the project will begin filming this summer in Finland. The project marks the latest release from Case Study Films, the production company director McDowell founded with Alex Orlovsky and wife Lily Collins. Kath Mattock for Stille Productions serves as producer.
Additional producers are Kevin Loader for Free Range Films, Duncan Montgomery for High Frequency Entertainment, Aleksi Bardy for Helsinki Film, who also produced the acclaimed biopic Tove, and McDowell and Alex Orlovsky for Case Study Films. Executive producers include Jack Selby for High Frequency, Arthur Farache and Victoria Castelli for Hurst Capital and Lily Collins for Case Study Films. Lily Collins is also starring in the new Moomin Phenomenon podcast, which you can listen to and read more about here.
Here you can find some of the most touching quotes from The Summer Book.
The Summer Book is published by Sort of Books in English and in its original language, Swedish, by Förlaget in Finland.