Svensk Filmindustri's The Knight Templar is to set to become Scandinavia's most expensive feature with a budget of $30.3 million (Euro 22.8 million).

The film is an adaptation of Swedish writer Jan Guillou's bestselling trilogy of Arn Magnusson to be shot in two parts by the Swedish major.

Danish director Peter Flinth (The Eye of the Eagle, The Fakire, Mastermind) will direct the epic which will start principal photography in Marocco next Month (Jan).

The screenplay is by Swedish author Hans Gunnarsson, who scripted Guillou's Evil for Mikael Hafström's Oscar-nominated film in 2004.

Swedish actor Joakim Nätterqvist (Tsatsiki-Friends Forever) will play the lead as Arn, who was born in Sweden 1150, educated by monks, and sent to the Holy Land as a Knight Templar, after he has succumbed to love and carnal lust. As he returns he vows to unite the then divided Sweden to become one country.

"It is both the depiction of an adventurous life and an unforgettable love story," Flinth explained.

Academy Award-winning Anna Asp (Fanny andAlexander) will provide the medieval settings for the feature, which will be photographed by Eric Kress and produced by Svensk Filmindustri's production chief, Johan Mardell, with veteran producer Waldemar Berrgendahl and Jan Marnell.

The first Arn film will be launched simultaneously in all Nordic countries in December 2007, with second part scheduled for an autumn release 2008.

Svensk Filmindustri stages the production with Danish partner, Tju-Bang Film, Swedish regional film centre, Film i Väast, broadcasters SVT, DR, YLE,TV2 Norge and Germany's Telepool.