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Tre Vänner moves into English thrillers

EXCLUSIVE: Swedish production company announces first English-language projects.

Sweden’s Tre Vänner, producer of the hit Easy Money (Snabba Cash) trilogy, has announced the launch of two international thrillers - the company’s first in the English-language.

They include a thriller from acclaimed Swedish director Jens Jonsson and an English-language remake of the first Easy Money film, the first part in a planned trilogy.

Both projects will be produced by Tre Vänner and Swedish major Svensk Filmindustri, with Svensk handling Scandinavian distribution. The two companies merged in 2013.

Jonsson’s Ibiza-set thriller The White Island centres around two female characters.

The film-maker, who won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2008 with The King Of Ping Pong and also directed Snabba Cash III - Life Deluxe, the third film in the trilogy, co-wrote the script with Matthew Ian Cirulnick based on extensive research.

“We will take the audience behind the curtain of Europe’s wildest party island,” producer Fredrik Wikström Nicastro of Tre Vänner says of The White Island. “A fantastic setting for a thriller that will centre around two great female characters.”

Casting will start on the film in the next few months, with production set to begin in spring 2015.

Wikström Nicastro is also producing the ambitious English-language remake of Easy Money, about a double-dealing business student who gets involved in a drug smuggling operation. 

The original film was released in Sweden in 2010 and set off the Hollywood careers of both its director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and its star Joel Kinnaman (Robocop).

The Weinstein Company released it in the US, where the film was presented by Martin Scorsese.

“We will keep the complex characters and grittiness of our original film but make the plot more focused and effective,” Wikström Nicastro explained.

“We will move the story to an international arena by making the protagonist an American student who dreams of becoming part of the wealthy elite in a major European capital.” 

The Easy Money remake previously was in development with Warner Bros. A new script is now being written by Josh Campbell and Matt Stuecken.

The film is planned to be the first instalment in an English-language trilogy, based on the source material of the three novels written by Swedish crime writer Jens Lapidus. Director and cast are yet to be decided. 

Jonas Fors, CEO of Svensk said: “We have seen a great interest in the films from several international partners and hope to close financing of these two films within the next few months. As we are already the major producer in the Scandinavian territory, this is an important step towards our vision of becoming Europe’s most interesting company within feature film and TV”. 

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