Svensk/Sonet will produce thriller The Hypnotist, based on bestselling crime novel.

Swedish Hollywood-director Lasse Hallström, who most recently filmed Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and Kristin Scott Thomas, will return to Sweden to shoot The Hypnotist (Hypnotisören), his first Swedish feature in 24 years.

Swedish major Svensk Filmindustri and its subsidiary Sonet Film will stage the production – the first in a series - which will roll during the winter 2011-12, with Börje Hansson, Peter Possne and Bertil Ohlsson as producers. The local premiere is scheduled for autumn 2012.

One of the most successful Swedish crime novels since Millennium, The Hypnotist was published in 2009 as written by a ‘Lars Kepler’, who was shortly after disclosed as Alexandra Coelho and Alexander Ahndoril, a married couple of authors.

Ahndoril’s so far most popular book, The Director (Regissören / 2006), was about Ingmar Bergman, whom he had never met. The Hypnotist sold 540,000 copies in Sweden, and the rights were picked up overnight for 29 countries. It was still number four on the local charts in 2010.

On his first job for Kepler, Finnish-Swedish detective inspector Joona Linna is investigating the brutal murder of a whole family in suburban Stockholm. The only survivor, though badly injured, is the 15-year-old son; a retired hypnotist is called in to work with him.

“A dream project coming true,” is how producers Hansson and Possne see The Hypnotist, which will spearhead the string of Kepler films (his second, The Paganini Contract (Paganinikontraktet), was also on the list of 2010’s Top 20 Books in Sweden).

“The production is still on the script stage, so budget is not yet completed, but it will be pretty high compared to Scandinavian standards,” added Possne. “Casting discussions have also startet, but no decisions made. Our intention is to make theatrical features from the novels; Kepler has announced he will write eight.”