Cannes: Pernilla August, Stellan Skarsgard, Melinda Kinnaman Join 'The Ape Star'

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Pernilla August

The Scandinavian actors will lend their voices to the upcoming animated feature from director Linda Hamback about an orphan girl who is adopted by a mother gorilla.

Swedish stars Pernilla August (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), Stellan Skarsgard (The Avengers) and Melinda Kinnaman (My Life as a Dog) have joined the voice cast of The Ape Star, an upcoming animated feature from director Linda Hamback.

Hamback will reteam with her Gordon & Paddy screenwriter Janne Vierth on the pic, in which Jonna, an orphan girl, gets adopted by a mother gorilla.

The film, an adaptation of Frida Nilsson’s award-winning novel, is set to start production next month and wrap in November 2020. Lee Film is producing.

“The main message of the film is that anyone can be your family, anyone can be your mother, as long as they love you,” Hamback said Saturday at a presentation for the project in Cannes.  

August will voice the lead gorilla character. Skarsgard will play a local crook who tries to disrupt Jonna and her adoptive mother's newfound happiness. Kinnaman plays Gerd, the matron of the orphanage. The role of Jonna is still being cast.

Lee Film is producing The Ape Star in co-production with Mikrofilm, Norlum, Film i Vast and Sveriges Television. Attraction Distribution is handling worldwide sales on the project outside Scandinavia, where the film will be distributed by SF Studios.

The Ape Star has already presold to France (Les Films du Préau) and Benelux (In the Air).