Swedish public broadcaster SVT has pulled out of Svensk Filmindustri's Arn-The Knight Templar, the two-film adaptation of Swedish writer Jan Guillou's bestselling trilogy of Arn Magnusson, which - with a $30.3m (Euros 22.8m) budget - will become the most expensive feature production in the Nordic countries.

'Unfortunately Svensk Filmindustri cannot deliver the contents we signed for in the original contract. Adding that the material we have seen so far does not live up to the quality we expected, we are forced to discontinue the collaboration,' said head of acquisition and co-production Gunnar Carlsson, of SVT Drama, in an official announcement.

'So far we have only been informed of SVT 's withdrawal from the project by the media and the press release on its website,' explained head of international publicity Helena Stenberg, of Svensk Filmindustri. 'We will now contact the station and get the facts right before we issue a comment.'

Directed by Denmark 's Peter Flinth, Arn stars Joakim Natterqvist and Sofia Helin in the story of the young Swede, born 1150, who is sent to the Holy Land as a Knight Templar, having succumbed to love and carnal lust. He returns to unite the then divided Sweden.

Also Stellan Skarsgard and his three sons, Gustaf, Bill and Valter have parts in the films, which Svensk Filmindustri has scheduled for an all-Scandinavian launch in December 2007 and the autumn of 2008. SVT was to co-produce with Denmark 's Tju-Bang Film and participation from Germany 's Telepool.

According to Carlsson, SVT would air Arn as a four-hour mini-series during Christmas 2009, including additional scenes allowing the viewers to further deepen into the story they might already have watched in the cinema. Without the extra material Carlsson decided that the price-per-minute was too high.

The screenplay was written by Swedish author Hans Gunnarsson, who scripted Guillou's Evil for Mikael Hafstrom's Oscar-nominated film. Arn is produced by Svensk Filmindustri's head of productions, Johan Mardell, with Waldemar Berrgendahl and Jan Marnell.