Bona Fide Productions’ Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Leftovers”) have acquired movie rights to popular Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard’s “My Saga,” two lengthy—and hilarious— 2015 New York Times Magazine travel articles tracing the Vikings’ historic trek through the Northern U.S..
Like the writer’s global bestselling six-volume autobiographical novel series “My Struggle” (which has no film or TV adaptation in place so far), these NYT pieces are brutally honest, revealing not only the author himself but the foreign landscape he is cannily observing. No one comes away unscathed, including disorganized Knausgaard (who failed to renew his driver’s license and could not rent a car) and his more competent cohort, Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael.
Who better than Alexander Payne (“Sideways”) to take on yet another filmic road trip? Berger and Yerxa, who produced Payne Oscar contenders “Election” and “Nebraska,” have attached the director as they and their Scandinavian producing partners Madeleine Ekman and Lizette Jonic at Zentropa Sweden look to develop the screenplay. “Alexander’s distinctive view of America merged with Knausgaard’s Norwegain sensibility seemed like a good match,” said Berger.
Adds Yerxa: “There’s comedy, cultural misunderstanding and absurdity in this piece.”
The secret of Knausgaard’s success seems to be, as he told Charlie Rose (see the interview below) that “we are much more alike than we think we are.”