Hanks is also set to produce the movie together with his Playtone production banner partner Gary Goetzman, Hanks' wife Rita Wilson and Fredrik Wikström Nicastro, the executive producer of the Swedish movie version of author Fredrik Backman's best-selling novel ('En man som heter Ove').
“Rita Wilson had seen the movie. She told her husband that 'you absolutely have to see this one'. When he did he fell in love with the idea of playing Ove,” Wikström Nicastro told the Aftonbladet tabloid about how the Oscar-winning US actor got involved in the project.
“We are looking for script writers and a director, and aim to start shooting at the end of next year,” he added, saying that the plot will probably be moved to a small town somewhere in the US, rather than Sweden.
Swedish actor Rolf Lassgård received high praise for his role as Ove in the Swedish adaptation, as did Swedish-Iranian actress Bahar Pars who played the character of Parvaneh, his warm, friendly and charismatic Muslim neighbour from Iran – the very opposite of cantankerous widower Ove himself.
Wikström Nicastro suggested to Aftonbladet that it is not unlikely the movie will try to make a political impact in the US, where Iranians are one of the nationalities included in President Donald Trump's so-called travel ban.
“An important issue. Tom Hanks himself is politically involved. He doesn't just think that the story is entertaining but also that it has something important to say. I would guess the neighbour even in the new version will be a Muslim from Iran. Tom Hanks said it was important the movie is finished and premieres before it's time to elect a US president again,” he said.
Tom Hanks. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Wilson said in a statement: “This story about love, tolerance and hope amplifies the qualities in movies that are hallmarks of the classic films we know and love. 'A Man Called Ove' transcended the language barrier to touch readers and audiences in ways we long for.”
'A Man Called Ove' is not the only Swedish creation to get an American version. Last month it was revealed that US comedian Will Ferrell is to star in the English-language remake of best-seller 'The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared'.