Swedish helmer on board 'Leisure Seeker'

Jens Jonsson also will write film's script

Film festival darling Jens Jonsson is on board to write and direct "The Leisure Seeker" for Sharp Independent at HarperCollins, the News Corp.-based banner of "Boys Don't Cry" producer Jeffrey Sharp.

"Seeker," based on Michael Zadoorian's new novel, combines elements of "Gran Torino" and "About Schmidt." It tells the story of an elderly couple who, against the advice of their family, take a road trip down Route 66 to spend their remaining time on their own terms.

Rights to the movie and book sold simultaneously last year to Sharp Independent and HarperCollins division William Morrow, and several reviews have suggested various actors who might play the lead roles. The film is expected to follow in the footsteps of a number of recent hits about the rigors and redemption of aging, including "The Bucket List" and "Torino."

Jonsson is a mainstay on the global fest scene. The Swede took the world dramatic jury prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival for his coming-of-age dramedy "The King of Ping Pong" and won a Silver Bear in Berlin in 2002 for his short "Brother of Mine."

The script for "Seeker" is being hammered out, and Sharp hopes to shoot by summer. A large part of the story takes place in Detroit, where the couple is from, and producers aim to shoot in Michigan, capitalizing on the state's tax rebate and efforts to create a production hub.