If this was being made in US, I'd see it as a miniseries for cable. HBO or Showtime or even FX or USA, but not any of the prime time channels(ABC, CBS, NBC). They would just mess it up. Since Harbor possibly going to be made into a movie, it will be a tough task to complete. To make a commercially viable film that's about 2 hrs long and has a worldwide appeal one must be ready to make some changes in a script made from a novel like Harbor. The book's focus is so enormous and filled with so many characters and time shifts that I don't see how it would successfully work as a movie. It's a ghost story, it's a family drama, it's a "Wicker Man" type mystery, it's a regional thriller, it's a horror tale, etc...Perhaps the only person who could do this book justice would be Lindquist himself, who I believe is the screenwriter on this project.
I'm not sure if Tomas Alfredson is the right choice to direct this particular film. I always pictured someone with more of an epic eye working on Harbor.Danny Boyle or Neill Blomkamp. TA might be able to pull it off, but I think he would be an ideal director for film version of Handling the Undead. I'd love to see Alfredson try...Harbor is a very cinematic novel, as is HTU. It seems that JAL writes his books with an idea that all of his works will be eventually turned into movies, which I think is cool.
As far as, what to keep and what to cut...Island's history must be kept, Simon's and Anna-Greta's past should be kept to a minimum, Anders' childhood and the circle of friends is too important to edit very much. Cast of islanders could be sliced a bit...way too many names, way too many hijinks. Relationship between Maja and Anders must be one of the central lines in the story. Must have a special place for Spiritus, that thing is a fantastic invention. Anders' drinking is also very important part. Henrik and Bjorn part must be handled very carefully. If not done correctly there's a danger of losing the audience for good. There's also a lot of humor in the novel. This should be cut down slightly. Harbor is not a comedy. Too many giggles could ruin the entire atmosphere. Elin is also important to the film. Her part could even be made larger than it is in the book.
Basically, film should have a medium size cast of principals, with a group of younger actors to play Anders and his friends. Climax could be a problem. It should either be subtle rescue or an all out CGI fest. Either way it should be a grandiose supernatural ending....So many decisions. I don't envy the production team....oh heck...what am I talking about! You bet I'm envious...Sounds like great fun.
Whatever the outcome is, I'd buy a ticket no matter who directs it.