Svensk picks up rights to 'The Hypnotist'

Lars Kepler's Swedish crime bestseller

STOCKHOLM -- Scandinavian giant Svensk Filmindustri has picked up the rights to Swedish crime bestseller "The Hypnotist" with shooting set to start 2010/2011. Svensk will produce together with Swedish production group Sonet Film. Borje Hansson ("The Kautokeino Rebellion") and Peter Possne ("Patrick, aged 1.5") will head up the project.

"The Hypnotist" is the first jointly written novel by husband-and-wife authors Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril, writing under the pseudonym Lars Kepler. The book was an instant best seller in Sweden and will be published in more than 30 countries worldwide, including the U.S.

In the novel, a father, wife and daughter are brutally murdered as part of an attempt to wipe out an entire family. The police have to race against time to find the one surviving daughter before the killer does. To do so, they convince a doctor, against his better judgment, to hypnotize the son who barely survived the killer's attack.

"The Hypnotist" is planned as the first in a series of crime novels following the main character, Detective Inspector Joona Linna. Svenski has optioned future novels in the series.

Swedish crime is red hot at the local boxoffice, following the blockbuster success of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," the first novel in a best-selling trilogy by Stieg Larsson, which has become the most successful Scandinavian film of all time.