The film will start shooting for director Torun Lian later this month.

After a lengthy casting procedure with several test screenings, Norwegian director Torun Lian has signed 23-year-old first-time actor Iben Akerlie [pictured] for Victoria, the first Norwegian adaptation Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun’s novel.

The film will start principal photography on a $5.5 million (NOK 32 million) budget later this month. Akerlie will star with Jakob Oftebro and
Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård.

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”Never thought it would take me that long to bring it off,” said Norwegian veteran producer John M Jacobsen (Max Manus, The Troll Hunter) at a press conference today in Oslo – he began in 1973. Jacobsen will produce for his Filmkameratene, with Sveinung
Golimo and Pancho Kohner, the son of legendary Hollywood agent Paul Kohner, who bought the film rights directly from Hamsun before WWII.

Supported by the Norwegian Film Institute, the film will be ready for its local premiere in February 2013.

Published in 1898, Victoria follows the love story of Johannes, the miller’s son (Oftebro), and Victoria, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. He fights social hierarchy and becomes a successful author, while she is forced to marry another (Skarsgård) to save the family’s troubled finances. When they are finally ready to own up to their feelings, it proves too late.

Lian’s first feature since the award-winning The Colour of Milk, Victoria – which she has herself adapted – has been filmed before, most recently by Swedish director Bo Widerberg, whose Swedish-German cast version was launched in competition in Cannes. German director Carl Hoffmann’s Viktoria was released in 1935. The 2012 update, and the first with a Norwegian dialogue, will shoot in the deep forests around the Vänern Lake in Sweden