Norway's great film diva, the 64 year-oldactress-turned-filmmaker Liv Ullmann, is in talks with a bevy of top Hollywoodacting talents, including Cate Blanchett, Kevin Spacey and John Cusack, with aview to casting them in yet another big screen version of A Doll's House, her countryman Henrik Ibsen's classic dissection ofmarriage.
Dinamo Story, the Norwegian production outfit behind theproject - which has yet to be financed - did not wish to comment on the cast asnothing is signed yet. However, Ullmann herself revealed to local newspaper Dagbladet that she has had long been in contact with Blanchettabout the main part of Nora.
She also sees Kevin Spacey, who made his stage debut playingopposite Ullmann in one of Ibsen's plays on Broadway, tackling the part of thelawyer Nils Krogstad, and John Cusack in the key role of Torvald Helmer, Nora'shusband. The versatile and prolific Swede Stellan Skarsgaard has agreed to playDr. Rank.
The film, which is set in the late 1800s, will be shot in Norwayand its release should coincide with the 100th anniversary of the famousplaywright's death.
The budget depends on the cast, but producers Petter J. Borgli andTomas Backstroem expect to keep it at a manageable level since it requires suchfew locations. They expect to co-produce the film with Gerard Rafshoon, andhope to access funding from the Norwegian Film Fund, despite Ullmann's publicfalling out with the government funding body last year. At the time, sheaccused the Fund of condemning her $9.5m historical biopic on the Norwegianviolinist and composer Ole Bull to development hell and eventual collapse.
Ullmann's previous two films, the Ingmar Bergman-scripted PrivateConversations and Faithless, were both produced in Sweden. Mostrecently Ullmann has been reworking the A Doll's House script as well as another script basedon Icelandic author Olaf Olafsson's novel The Journey Home.
A Doll's House was adapted twice for the big screen in 1973, each time boastingstar-studded casts filled out with British acting stalwarts. Patrick Garland'sUK version had Claire Bloom in the main role of Nora, while Joseph Losey'sAnglo-French production headlined Jane Fonda. The latter was also shot inNorway.
Dinamo Story are presently in postproduction on Hans PetterMoland's highly anticipated The Beautiful Country, a project initiated and overseen byTerrence Malick. It deals with human smuggling and was shot in Vietnam with NickNolte and Tim Roth playing opposite Damien Nguyen and Bai Ling. The $5m filmwill be released around Christmas.