Cannes: Alicia Vikander's 'Moomins and the Winter Wonderland' Sells to China (Exclusive)

Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage
Alicia Vikander

The Academy Award-winning actress is set to voice two of the lead characters in the film.

The Moomins, the globally beloved Finnish storybook characters, are heading to Chinese movie screens for the first time.

Los Angeles-based Global Genesis Group has inked a deal with Hong Kong's Spring Era Films for a Chinese theatrical release of the next major Moomins motion picture, the forthcoming stop-motion animation Moomins and the Winter Wonderland.

Academy Award-winning Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is set to star in the film, voicing two of the lead characters (Little My and Sorry-oo). Stellan Skarsgard, an executive producer on the project, has also joined the cast as the voice of Moominpoppa.

Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is being produced by Finnish film company Filmkompaniet and Poland's Animoon Sp. z o.o. Global Genesis Group is handling worldwide sales.

The Moomins were created by Finnish writer Tove Jansson in a series of books and comic strips, originally published in Swedish in the 1940s. The iconic fairy tale characters — a carefree family of white, roundish creatures with large snouts that make them resemble lovable hippopotamuses — are a staple of kids culture around the world, thanks to translations of the original books and comic strips, along with television and film adaptations, and even a theme park called Moomin World in Naantali, Finland. But the Spring Era Films deal will mark the first time that the characters, in their 87-year history, will hit the big screen in the Middle Kingdom.

Finland is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of its national independence in 2017. Back in Helsinki, Moomins and the Winter Wonderland has been selected as an official representative cultural project of the anniversary.

Based on Jansson's original books, with a screenplay from MaƂgorzata Wieckowicz-Zyla, Piotr Szczepanowicz and Ira Carpelan, Moomins and the Winter Wonderland is being created from existing, vintage footage from original stop-motion Moomins productions co-produced by Jupiter Film and Film Polski in the 1980s. The footage will be in 4K quality.

The producers say their vision for the restoration and development of the film is to bring the Moomins to a contemporary world audience while staying true to the magic of Jansson's original stories.