Edda Magnusson to star; Lena Rehnberg to produce for StellaNova.

Danish director Per Fly is planning a biopic of Swedish singer-actress Monica Zetterlund, Monica Z, starring Swedish-Icelandic singer Edda Magnusson.

Swedish producer Lena Rehnberg, the former production chief of Sandrew Metronome, is currently packaging the film for her own StellaNova Film, which took off to a flying start with Staffan Lindberg’s A Midsummer Night’s Party (Sommaren med Göran), the most popular Swedish comedy in five years.

Monica Z will be Fly’s first production outside Denmark and Zentropa Entertainments, for which he realised, among others, his multi-award-winning trilogy The Bench (Bænken), The Heritage (Arven) and Manslaughter (Drabet) 2000-2005 – the latter won him the Nordic Council Film Prize.

Birro, who is now finishing the screenplay with Fly, most recently scripted the thriller Easy Money II (Snabba Cash II); a receipient of the Ingmar Bergman Award, three times Prix Italia, and credited for 20 books, films and TV series, Birro was a lead figur in Swedish rock groups The Christer Petterssons and Kulturmord.

In local press he has described Monica Z as ”a once in a lifetime project – you take a deep breath, pray to her for guidance, and get started.” The film will focus on the period from when she quits her job as a telephone operator in Hagfors till she reigns the clubs in Stockholm and New York.

Zetterlund, who died in 2005 after a fire in her Stockholm apartment, recorded 25 mainly jazz albums and played in 10 films. Originally a singer, her 1964 recording with Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, became a classic, and her collaboration with Swedish comedians Hasseåtage led to an actress career on stage and screen.

She won a Guldbagge – Sweden’s national film prize – for Best Supporting Actress in Jan Troell’s The Emigrants (Utvandrarna/1971); she represented Sweden in The European Song Contest, and gave one of her last concerts at a rock festival. She retired from performing in 1999, suffering from severe sclerosis.

”She was a star loved by everybody – except herself,” says Fly.