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Lasse Hallström To Direct Swedish Film 'The Hypnotist'; Is This The New 'Dragon Tattoo'?

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 7, 2011 at 6:03AM

We've already expounded on the career of diminishing returns from director Lasse Hallström, but perhaps a trip back to his native Sweden for his first film in twenty four years will be the creative rejuvenation he needs.
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We've already expounded on the career of diminishing returns from director Lasse Hallström, but perhaps a trip back to his native Sweden for his first film in twenty four years will be the creative rejuvenation he needs.

THR reports that Hallström will begin shooting the crime thriller "The Hypnotist" this winter and if all goes well, this will be a franchise starter that the backers hope will part of a new crime sensation following the success of the 'Millenium' trilogy of films with Noomi Rapace. Based on the best-selling novel by Lars Kepler, the film is the first in a trilogy that will follow Detective Joona Linna, and for this installment he "investigates a grisly triple homicide where the only survivor, a young boy, is too traumatized to testify. Linna convinces a famous psychologist, against his better judgment, to hypnotize the boy, setting off a terrifying chain of events."

The novelty twist with hypnotism seems a tad ridiculous to us, but then again, Kepler books are the most successful Swedish crime works around the world following Stieg Larsson's novels so what do we know. Things are moving fast on the production with lensing to begin this winter a 2012 release date in sight. No word yet on casting.

What this means for the developing Nicole Kidman project, the transgenered drama "The Danish Girl" that had Hallström attached to direct, remains to be seen. Kidman recently said on the WGA Awards red carpet that the film would be her next and IMDB says it shoots this summer but with Hallström now moving ahead on another project, we're not sure where it leaves "The Danish Girl." Calls to Blossom Films were not returned as of press time but we'll keep an eye and ear out. For now, check out the synopsis for "The Hypnotist" from Amazon below (it will hit store shelves in the U.S. this summer):

Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders—against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered.

But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim—the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned.

Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. It’s the sort of work that Bark had sworn he would never do again—ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl.

This article is related to: Foreign Films, Foreign Directors, The Hypnotist, Lasse Hallström


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