Nobel Prize #MeToo Scandal Getting Film Treatment

Matilda Voss Gustavsson
Courtesy of Nordisk Film

Matilda Voss Gustavsson's investigative book into sexual harassment at the Swedish academy will be adapted by 'Queen of Hearts' screenwriter Maren Louise Käehne.

The #MeToo sexual harassment scandal that shook up the Nobel Prize for Literature, and led to the unprecedented cancellation of the award in 2018, will be turned into a feature film.

Scandinavian studio Nordisk Film will adapt The Club, a non-fiction book by investigative journalist Matilda Voss Gustavsson on the scandal, as a feature film. 

Working for Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Gustavsson published an exposé, in which 18 women came forward detailing rape, threats and harassment centered around the Forum, a prestigious club lead by well-known cultural figures, including members of the Swedish Academy, the group which awards the Nobel Prize. At the root of the scandal were wide-ranging allegations against Jean-Claude Arnault, a photographer and leading cultural figure in Sweden, who is married to Katarina Frostenson, an academy member and author. In 2018, Arnault was convicted of rape and is currently serving a two-year and six-month prison sentence.

Gustavsson's exposé also led to a series of resignations at the Academy, which suspended the Noble Prize for Literature in 2018. Last year, for the first time, two awards were handed out.

In The Club, Gustavsson digs deeper into the story of the Forum and the corrupting power structures in the European art world.

Maren Louise Käehne, who co-wrote the screenplay for May el-Toukhy's Queen of Hearts — Denmark's Oscar entry last year — will adapt Gustavsson's book for the screen. The themes of Queen of Hearts — the story of a successful lawyer who seduces her teenage stepson — also explore issues of power and sexual exploitation.

"The Club tells of the corruption of power and what happens when people are deprived of their voice, both as individuals and as artists," says Käehne. "Completely authentic and without falling into tabloid sensationalism, it depicts a landmark in Swedish cultural history. It is a condensed page-turner with drama worthy of a gangster movie."

Nordisk, which produced Queen of Hearts, as well as recent Scandi features The Guilty and Kon-Tiki, has acquired the rights to Gustavsson’s book and will produce The Club as a feature film.