How do you see the movie working?

For discussion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel Människohamn
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Nightrider
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Nightrider » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:03 pm

Well, the script is only a part of the process. Casting is almost as important as a good story.
Here's my dream cast of principal actors.

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Stellan Skarsgard as Simon. I know he can do it. His face has age and experience.

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Mads Mikkelsen as Anders. Very good actor. As I was reading Harbor I kept thinking of him in the role of Anders. Now that he's a bit older his expressive face can show pain and regret.

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Helen Mirren as Anna-Greta. This is a tailor made role for her. Looking at her features I believe all the war stories from the novel.

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Rose Byrne as Elin . She is beautiful , but at the same time projects sadness, madness and disappointment.

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Samntha Morton as Cecilia. 4 reasons. She can do it. She will do it. She IS Cecilia. She breaks my heart every time I see her. :wub:

As Maja I would have loved to see young Dakota Fanning, but since she's too old now someone else must step into Maja's boots. Someone unknown, but believable. That's it for now.
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Wolfchild » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:38 am

I think Spiritus can only be dropped if you are also going to drop everything to do with Hubba and Bubba as well. Perhaps the absence of Spiritus could be worked around for getting Anders to and from the other side, but Spiritus was absolutely indispensable in Anders' finally encounter with Henrik and Bjorn. I'm not sure how that could be worked around without inventing something else out of whole cloth.

I can see where Spiritus could quite problematic in the screenplay though. It's backstory was quite complex, and telling it visually on screen would up entirely too much time. It would also require more screen time for Simon, who otherwise would feel like cardboard cut-out plot device: "Hi, I'm just here to give the protagonist a major bit of deus ex machina, and then I must be going." :lol:

I think that, unlike Låt den rätte komma in, Människohamn does require at least one or two splashes of real terror. Hubba and Bubba were the vehicle for a great deal of the visceral terror visited upon Anders. They personify the antagonist, which is really the sea. In a film, you need really need to have a monster to show. Long shots of a dark sea with ominous music just will not be enough. In a visual medium, Henrik and Bjorn would provide the visual representation of the threat. Does Människohamn have a hope of being even half as scary without them?

And if they stay, doesn't Spiritus have to stay as well, at least in some form?
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Nightrider » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:24 am

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That's pretty much how I see it. Hubba and Bubba are the "monsters" of this horror tale and Spiritus is forever connected to them. These are the supernatural elements that are very important to the narrative of the book and should be just as significant in the movie ...and "YES", they are potentially a source of true terror(if handled correctly). There's an opportunity here to make a great film once all the right dots are connected.
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Wolfchild » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:10 am

Nightrider wrote:There's an opportunity here to make a great film once all the right dots are connected.
But all of the dots must fit into two hours, More or less. I think that one concept that will have to be jettisoned entirely is the idea of people escaping from the other side back into people on the island via the drinking water. In the novel, it was a rather clever mechanism motivate much of what Hubba and Bubba do; why they terrorize Elin and why they terrorize Anders. Outside of being twisted little cretins, they were also rounding up escapees. That concept also accounted Ander's unreasoning terror when they visited his house, and his fear of the ice cream clown thing.

So what can JAL (and I guess Tomas) do to hint to Anders that Maja is really still around someplace?
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Nightrider » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:45 am

So many good ideas and so little time...I'll use LTROI as an example. As written by Lindquist, the screenplay drops and changes quite a few things for reasons of keeping within set running time or just for reasons of not being able to successfully transfer written word onto a movie screen. Entire Tommy storyline and Eli's origins are few things that come to mind. (In my opinion the whole cat attack scene should have been edited to a bare minimum, but what's done is done)
So in the case of Harbor I see a similar creative process taking place. As long as JAL is writing the script, I am sure the outcome will be good for the movie. Things from the novel will be changed and removed.That's expected...My main concern is keeping the movie Swedish or involving bigger money and bigger studios...and that brings a whole other set of difficulties. Losing control of the picture, control of the screenplay plus expectation of big returns when you raise sizable budget, once Harbor project attracts the attention of big companies(either in EU or US)is just some of the problems film makers will encounter...
That is if Harbor is still on someone's drawing board....don't want to get ahead of myself. :)
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Wolfchild » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:18 am

Nightrider wrote:So many good ideas and so little time...I'll use LTROI as an example. As written by Lindquist, the screenplay drops and changes quite a few things for reasons of keeping within set running time or just for reasons of not being able to successfully transfer written word onto a movie screen. Entire Tommy storyline and Eli's origins are few things that come to mind. (In my opinion the whole cat attack scene should have been edited to a bare minimum, but what's done is done)
So in the case of Harbor I see a similar creative process taking place. As long as JAL is writing the script, I am sure the outcome will be good for the movie. Things from the novel will be changed and removed.That's expected...My main concern is keeping the movie Swedish or involving bigger money and bigger studios...and that brings a whole other set of difficulties. Losing control of the picture, control of the screenplay plus expectation of big returns when you raise sizable budget, once Harbor project attracts the attention of big companies(either in EU or US)is just some of the problems film makers will encounter...
That is if Harbor is still on someone's drawing board....don't want to get ahead of myself. :)
Well, I had heard that JAL and Tomas had at least an informal agreement to do it, and I have not heard anything that says they will not do it together. After TTSS, I'd imagine that Tomas has enough gravitas that no studio is going to win a tug-of-war with him. As for John, after his experience with selling the rights to LTROI, I will bet that he has a pack of lawyers with orders to go caveman on everyone within arm's reach. So long as they can get the funding, I imagine that they will be able to make exactly the film they want to make.
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Nightrider » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:32 am

I will bet that he has a pack of lawyers with orders to go caveman on everyone within arm's reach
Because that's the only thing some people understand...a good knuckle sandwich! :)
So long as they can get the funding, I imagine that they will be able to make exactly the film they want to make
Well, I certainly hope so...I don't see a reason why Harbor can't be a fantastic film...As long as they spell the title HARBOR and not HARBOUR...I mean you don't want any confused moviegoers in North Texas. :roll:
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Wolfchild » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:41 am

Nightrider wrote:
I will bet that he has a pack of lawyers with orders to go caveman on everyone within arm's reach
Because that's the only thing some people understand...a good knuckle sandwich! :)
So long as they can get the funding, I imagine that they will be able to make exactly the film they want to make
Well, I certainly hope so...I don't see a reason why Harbor can't be a fantastic film...As long as they spell the title HARBOR and not HARBOUR...I mean you don't want any confused moviegoers in North Texas. :roll:
Actually, I would bet that the title will be spelled: "Människohamn". He has specifically not let "Handling The Undead" be into film internationally before it filmed first as a Swedish film. In all this time, only the work of his to not be published first in Sweden was The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murder, and I don't think we will ever see an English translation of Tjärven. I think he sees himself as a Swedish author first for a Swedish audience first. I wouldn't be surprised if he will want to make Människohamn as a Swedish film as well. Maybe Tomas will have other ideas, though, but either way it has the potential to be an awesome film.
...the story derives a lot of its appeal from its sense of despair and a darkness in which the love of Eli and Oskar seems to shine with a strange and disturbing light.
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by danielma » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:47 pm

I can see where Spiritus could quite problematic in the screenplay though. It's backstory was quite complex, and telling it visually on screen would up entirely too much time. It would also require more screen time for Simon, who otherwise would feel like cardboard cut-out plot device: "Hi, I'm just here to give the protagonist a major bit of deus ex machina, and then I must be going."

I think that, unlike Låt den rätte komma in, Människohamn does require at least one or two splashes of real terror. Hubba and Bubba were the vehicle for a great deal of the visceral terror visited upon Anders. They personify the antagonist, which is really the sea. In a film, you need really need to have a monster to show. Long shots of a dark sea with ominous music just will not be enough. In a visual medium, Henrik and Bjorn would provide the visual representation of the threat. Does Människohamn have a hope of being even half as scary without them?

And if they stay, doesn't Spiritus have to stay as well, at least in some form?
But again, there surely would be a way to make Hubba and Bubba work without the Spiritus? If Spiritus became such a sticky point in terms of screenplay then you could surely find ways to make the threat of Hubba and Bubba work. You mentioned what is my big concern, its not that I don't want to see Spiritus in there, if I had my way I would have the entire book on screen and it would be a 4 hour film that would probably bore the mainstream and be panned as quite pretentious for its sheer bloated running time but hey it would make me happy :lol: But I think the problem with Spiritus in a film version is just how much you give the audience...you either run the risk of overexplaining every last detail regarding Spiritus, or you pull an "Eli is a Boy" and have it fly over some of the audiences heads as they don't really understand what is going on in the film and what all of this Spiritus is in regards too.

But like I said I have been proven wrong before. When I first read LTROI all those years back, I was so sure that there was no way that a film version would work. Especially in regards the Zom-kan stuff. I thought it was too graphic, and it would just never work as a film as was...I thought a film version would loose everything was fascinating about the story. Then someone came along and proved me wrong and made me sit up and realize "Oh yeah that works as a film incredibly well"...so I am hoping the same will happen with Harbour (like I'm really hoping I am proven wrong and someone can make it work)
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Re: How do you see the movie working?

Post by Aurora » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:28 am

I really like danielma's plot outline for the film and like pretty much everyone else agree that Anders has to be the central character that holds everything together. While I didn't care for him much in the book, he's too self-pitying and and lets be honest here a bit of a drunk. However he does have that 'everyman' quality, plus of course the mystery of his missing daughter is the main plot point in the story .

About the only thing that I'd change about danilma's plot outline is that I'd open in Domaro in the 1980's with Anders and Cecilia along with Hubba, Bubba and their friends all being teenagers and listening to The Smiths. This could be accompanied by a voiceover from a present day Anders saying about how life seemed to be turning out well and how they came to re-visit Domaro with their daughter after they had married. Personally I'd like to avoid flash-backs as much as possible and also this would make the re-appearance of Hubba and Bubba more shocking when they turn up later in the film.

As for spiritus, I'd really like to keep it but it would take a lot of exposition. Even in the book it took a long time for me to understand what it was and what it could do. But having said that it's supernatural and weird and in this context both of those things are good.

Finally I think it should be directed by TA, the cast should be Swedish ( or Scandanavian at least) and it should be in Swedish and shot in Sweden. Maybe Kare and Lina could be cast as the teenage versions of Anders and Cecilia?
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