Nordisk Greenlights Biopics Of 'Out Of Africa' Author, Nuclear Science Pioneer

Danish studio Nordisk Film has greenlit a pair of biopics based on the lives of two of the best-known Danes in history: Out of Africa author Karen Blixen and scientist Niels Bohr, one of the fathers of the nuclear bomb.

Nordisk has snapped up film rights to two upcoming books by famed author and historian Tom Buk-Swienty: The Lioness on Karen Blixen and The Great Dane on Bohr.

The Copenhagen-based shingle company is planning The Lioness as both a feature film and miniseries about the life of Blixen (a.k.a. Isak Dinesen), a Danish Baroness whose account of running a coffee plantation in Kenya was turned into the 1985 Oscar-winner Out of Africa. Mikael Rieks (Land of Mine) will produce with Jakob Weis (That Time of Year) adapting Buk-Swienty's biography for the screen. The new biography will be published in August 2019 via Danish publishing house Gyldendal. 

For his new historical account, Buk-Swienty had access to never-before used material detailing the accounts of Blixen's Karen Coffee Company. The book outlines Blixen's role as a pioneering female CEO, in charge of more than 1,000 workers and describes her often-troubled dealings with her uncle, Aage Westenholz, the main investor in her farm, who lost a fortune on the failed business venture.

“More than 30 years ago, Karen Blixen’s story took the world by storm in Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer. It is therefore with great humility that we now carry on the torch,” says Rieks. “With Tom Buk-Swienty’s new narrative we have the material to tell a topical and exciting story that goes behind the many myths she created about herself in Out of Africa. We will depict the period in Karen Blixen’s life when she steps into the role of business woman and adventurer, presenting a highly fascinating portrait of a very modern woman whose life resonates deeply with the fundamental issues of our times.”

The film version of The Lioness is expected for 2021-2022. Nordisk is also looking to adapt the biography as a television miniseries.

Separately, Harry Potter and Gravity producer David Heyman is developing a TV series adaptation of Karen Blixen's original autobiographical novel Out of Africa from 1937. Heyman's Heyday Television — a joint venture with NBCUniversal International Studios — has acquired the rights to the book, with Oscar winner Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) attached to executive produce and direct.

Source :

Nordisk Greenlights Biopics of 'Out of Africa' Author, Nuclear Science Pioneer