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Will Ferrell is teaming with CBS Films to adapt the best-selling novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Ferrell is attached to star in and produce the project with Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum via the trio’s Gary Sanchez Productions shingle. Andy Licht and NiceFLX Pictures’ Pontus Edgren and Mikael Wallen are also on board to produce.
Jason George (Narcos) is set to write the screenplay that translates Jonas Jonasson’s 2012 book. CBS Films picked up the book’s rights.
The 100-Year-Old Man centers on a man who, on the night of his 100th birthday, escapes from his nursing home and hits the road, with the ensuing inadvertent adventure involving criminals, a bag of cash and an elephant. But his time on the run reveals that the former explosives expert was involved in some of the defining moments of the 20th century and that he crossed paths with figures such as Joseph Stalin, Sir Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle. Before long, past and present are on a collision course.
“My character, Allan, knows the art of being funny just by being,” said Jonasson in a statement. “That is something Will Ferrell masters to perfection. Great humor with small measurements. I am happy that Allan is now in his hands.”
The new onscreen adaptation of The 100-Year-Old Man has been described as being akin to the 1994 Tom Hanks classic Forrest Gump, but more darkly comedic. The book has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, and the Oscar-nominated local-language feature adaptation became one of the highest-grossing Swedish movies of all time.
Felix Herngren and Henrik Jansson-Schweizer, who co-wrote the screenplay for the Swedish adaptation, will serve as executive producers, and Joshua Mehr will co-produce. Mark Ross and Alex Ginno are overseeing the project for CBS Films.
Ferrell is coming off the New Line Cinema comedy The House, and has Daddy’s Home 2 with Mark Wahlberg as well as Holmes and Watson with John C. Reilly being readied for release.
Ferrell and Gary Sanchez are repped by UTA, Mosaic and attorney Deborah Klein. George is repped by ICM Partners, Kaplan Perrone and Gang Tyre.
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