Everyone knows Pippi Longstocking, but few know that her father was a real person. But with Pippi's Father - Captain Charlie And The Cannibal Princess (working title) he should be at least as well known as Harry Potter by family audiences across the world.

At least that is the ambition of Swedish producers Daniel Fridell and Jan Erik Levmo, who this week signed a deal with Michael Werner of NonStop Sales. The latter will handle international sales outside Scandinavia, where the majority of the funding will be found.

'We plan to make it into a English-language pan-Nordic co-production to shoot in Gothenburg, Cuba and New Zealand,' says Fridell, who despite his own directing credits including Swedish Beauty (2000) and Bloodbrothers (2002) will not steer this vehicle.

'I will have my hands full with producing the film, so we're looking for a Scandinavian director and hope to start shooting in Feb-March 2004.'

The producers are in talks with Swedish national broadcaster SVT and will present the Euros 10m project to the Swedish Film Institute and then the other Nordic film funds. German and Italian partners have also shown interest in the project.

As a fictional character Pippi was created by Sweden's Astrid Lindgren and has since been translated into some 76 languages. However, the script currently being written by veteran Ulf Stark (Tsatsiki) and newcomer Maarten Skogman is based on the non-fiction book King Kalle Of The Kurrekurreduttisland as well as the children's book Captain Kalle On The Seven Seas both written by Joakim Langer.

Carl Emil Pettersson went to sea at the age of 12 and found all the things he was looking for - a goldmine, love in the shape of a cannibal princess and became king of an island in the Southern Ocean - and in the end had a daughter called Pippi.