Finnish Hollywood director Renny Harlin's comeback to local filmmaking, the $12.6m (Euros 10m) Mannerheim, which was scheduled to have its world première in Helsinki on Jan 15 next year, has been delayed and is now expected to open during the autumn 2010.

The biopic of Finnish historical legend Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was due to start shooting March 9 in Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Russia, but Solar Films producers Markus Selin and Jukka Helle had counted on additional financing which failed to materialise.

'We will certainly finalise the budget, but it will take some time, and when everything is ready, we will still need three or four weeks for preparations. By then the snow will have melted,' explained Selin, who has been working on the project for 10 years.

Scripted by Heikki Vihinen and Marko Leino, Mannerheim - the largest feature film project staged in Finland so far - will be preceded by a novel about Finland's national father figure, written by Finnish author Hannu Raittala and largely based on Vihinen and Laino's screenplay.

Starring Finnish actor Mikko Nousiainen, the film depicts the life of the Swedish-speaking nobleman, who served the Russian Tsar, before he returned to Finland in 1917, later to be president. The Finnish Film Foundation has chipped in $566,000 (Euros 450,000) for the production.

The winter shooting planned for this spring will now take place next winter. Solar Films has collaborated with Finland'sChampion of Liberty Association to package which will be domestically released by Solar co-owner, Nordisk Film, with TrustNordisk in charge of international sales.

Harlin, who was in Helsinki to discuss to discuss the new timetable, left for the US today (March 16) to promote his latest Hollywood movie, 12 Rounds, which Fox will release. His previous credits include Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Cliffhanger, Cutthroat Island and The Long Kiss Goodbye