After toiling away on the big budget comic movie “Thor,” it looks like director Kenneth Branagh and actor Anthony Hopkins — who seem to have got on smashingly — are looking to scale things back a bit for their next project together.
Screen Daily reports that Branagh is in talks to direct “Italian Shoes,” based on the novel by best-selling Swedish author Henning Mankell. The story follows an old man, living on a remote island who is asked by an old flame, who is dying of cancer, to fulfill a promise he once made. And who to play that old man? Anthony Hopkins is interested. “I can’t say much more than that we are in talks with Branagh, and that he has approached Hopkins,” Ole Sondborg, the executive producer of the film, told Screen Daily, promising more news soon.
Branagh is no stranger to the works of Mankell, having successfully adapted the author’s popular works centered around policeman Kurt Wallander for British television but obviously, this is completely different terrain. If everything falls into place, Branagh will shoot three more entries in the “Wallander” series this fall before starting work on “Italian Shoes.” You can check out a longer description of the book below courtesy of Amazon.
Many years ago a devastating mistake drove Fredrik Welkin into a life as far as possible from his former position as a surgeon, where he mistakenly amputated the wrong arm of one of his patients. Now he lives in a frozen landscape. Each morning he dips his body into the freezing lake surrounding his home to remind himself he’s alive. However, Welkins’s icy existence begins to thaw when he receives a visit from a guest who helps him embark on a journey to acceptance and understanding. Full of the graceful prose and deft characterization that have been the hallmarks of Mankell’s prose, Italian Shoes shows a modern master at the height of his powers, effortlessly delivering a remarkable novel about the most rewarding theme of all: hope.