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TrustNordisk Inks First Deals on ‘Super Charlie’ as Author and Charlie’s Mum Camilla Läckberg Talks Kids and Books

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TrustNordisk has just inked pre-sales to ADS Service Ltd for Hungary and Romania on the Swedish-Danish animated pic “Super Charlie,” to be sneak-peeked as part of the sales banner’s promo reel screening Feb.15 at Berlin’s European Film Market.

The 3D family pic helmed by Jon Holmberg with Oscar-nominated animator Karsten Killerich (“When Life Departs”) and Stine Buhl, is due for delivery only late 2024, but several pre-sales are pending, due to the title’s strong selling points. The story of the little baby with superpowers is based on the ‘Super-Charlie’ book series by Swedish best-selling author Camilla Läckberg, and the queen of crime herself is actively involved in the promotion of the pic.

“The production team [Nordisk Film and top animation studio A-Film] have let me into the process early on,” Läckberg says about the movie based on the universe of her first book series for children.  “I met the director who also wrote the script; we had lost of meetings where we discussed his ideas, and I got to give notes on his various script versions. I got to approve the characters, and their looks. It’s been a very nice process all along,” Läckberg tells Variety.

But “Super Charlie” is also a story that the prolific author with 35 million readers worldwide, is particular fond of, as its gestation developed when she was expecting her son Charlie.

Läckberg says the stories based on her own family came organically to her. “When I was pregnant with my son Charlie, he had already four half-siblings and all were below the age of 7. I would always tell them that Charlie was a super baby, who would go out flying and do superhero stuff.

They loved it and then their own friends started to ask for more Super Charlie stories. I felt ohhh-this could be a great children’s book. This is how it all started. Now I have written 11 books. It’s just fun! Charlie is now 14 and he still loves it. He sometimes comes with me when I sign books, and he is super happy about the movie.”

Läckberg whose own favourite bedtime stories are from iconic Swedish author Astrid Lindgren and the book “Goodnight Mr Muffin” (“I love sad stories!”) admits keeping all her childhood books as a treasure trove for life. “I’ve kept all of them and my kids have them,” she states.

Boiling down her creative process, she says writing “Super Charlie” or crime novels such as “The Ice Princess” has the same starting point: the wish to tell a good story. “It’s always more important than the message and sense of morals,” she explains. “I start with the story, adding along the way my own values. But I don’t do this deliberately. Sometimes I finish a book and realise…oh-this is a book about being kind. So the story comes first and my own values eventually shine through.”

With “Super-Charlie,” Läckberg says her goal was to cater for the two types of readers-the kids and their parents. “I wanted to entertain the adult as well as the child reading it,” she underscores.

Marketing savvy Läckberg who first worked as product manager for Telia and Fortum before turning to fiction writing, has whole-heartedly expanded the “Super Charlie” universe into music – two pop songs ‘Super-Charlie’ and ‘Fly with Me’ were written by Läckberg with music produced by Pelle Nylén. But she hasn’t contributed to the film’s score. “That said, I’m doing the midwife who delivers Charlie in the movie!” she said.

Besides the 90-minute buyers-only promo-reel, TrustNordisk will be screening four titles at the European Film Market: Sundance winner “Handling the Undead,” WWII drama “The Arctic Convoy,” star studded period epic “Stockholm Bloodbath” and Olsen Adler Olsen crime adaptation “Boundless.”