Erik Poppe’s anticipated epic film produced by SF Studios will start filming in September in Western Sweden.

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Lisa Carlehed (In Your Arms, Psychosia) and Gustav Skarsgård (438 Days, Vikings) will be replacing Liv Ullmann and Max on Sydow in the celebrated roles of Kristina and Karl-Oskar from Villhelm Moberg’s literary classic The Emigrants, made famous in Jan Troell’s multiple Academy Award film of 1971.

The two characters embodied the fate of one and a half million Swedes that sought a better life across the Atlantic in the 19th century. In the film, we follow them as they emigrate from Sweden to America in the 1850s, determined to flee poverty, religious persecution and social oppression.

Erik Poppe’s new version is adapted for the screen by seasoned Norwegian writing duo Siv Rajendram Eliassen.

Liv Ullmann will return to Moberg’s universe as Karin’s mother Anna, while Sofia Helin will play Judit.

Commenting on her first major feature film role, Carlehed said:”To take on the almost mythical role of Kristina feels incredible. Gustaf and I have had great chemistry during rehearsals, where I have been able to discover the complexities of the character, and I hope to depict a side of Kristina that hasn’t been seen on screen before. I have also always wanted to play the leading role in a Swedish epic drama of this magnitude, so I am very much looking forward to working with SF Studios to portray the love and the courage that characterises the emigrants’ journey from Sweden to America.”

Skarsgård said: “To work on such a classic tale as The Emigrants and a character like Karl-Oskar is a dream come true. I was immediately drawn to the powerful and strong relationship between Karl-Oskar and Kristina. Their love, courage and desire to survive at all costs are universal themes which shine a light on humanity as a whole. It is a story about love for your family, love for your country, love for what we call home and I can’t wait to get started on the project.”

Originally set to shoot for the most part in the Czech Republic, the €7.9m project has now relocated to Western Sweden due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “This is a dream project that we have developed for many years and the film is now finally, with this fantastic ensemble cast, ready to be made,” said producer Fredrik Wikström Nicastro.

The film is produced by SF Studios in co-production with TV4/C More, Film i Väst, Nordsvensk Filmunderhållning, Paradox, SF Studios Denmark and Fantefilm, with the support from the Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, The Norwegian Film Institute, The Danish Film Institute and DR.

SF Studios will handle the distribution in the Nordics.

The premiere is set for December 25, 2021.