Pippi Longstocking Slated for Big Screen Return


Courtesy of Penguin Random House


Just in time to celebrate Pippi Longstocking’s 75th anniversary in 2020, French film company StudioCanal and Britain’s Heyday Films are partnering up to produce a new adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s (1907-2002) beloved children’s book series starring a plucky, red-haired Swede named Pippi.

The most recent big-screen adaptation of the Pippi books was back in 1988. Unfortunately, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking was a commercial flop, even though Lindgren’s books starting the World’s Strongest Girl have been translated into 77 languages with 65 million copies sold world-wide. Lindgren’s now famous tales evolved from bedtime stories told to her daughter Karin and are filled with adventure and excitement.

Perhaps this version will fare better than the 1988 film. Harry Potter and Paddington producer David Heyman will be at the helm this time around, and he has been working closely with Nils Nyman, Astrid Lindgren’s grandchild and CEO of Astrid Lindgren Films.

In a statement, Heyman said, “I am thrilled to collaborate with Thomas Gustafsson, Olle Nyman and their team at the Astrid Lindgren Company and our partners at Studiocanal on this film adaptation of the brilliant and timeless Pippi Longstocking. Pippi has endured and inspired families everywhere through her life force, strength of character and her irrepressible joie de vivre. Astrid Lindgren’s books have been translated around the globe for many years – a testament to her vision which we are determined to honor with a new film.”

No word yet on the film’s cast, crew, or release date.

Coincidentally, a new edition of the book, featuring the original illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman, is due out from Puffin Books in April.

Seacrow Island, by Astrid Lindgren; The New York Review of Children’s Books, $17.95, 245 pages, ages 12-16.

Summer is upon us, and with its arrival also comes the tough decisions of what books to pack for those lazy days at the beach or hiking in the mountains. Why not offer older children this classic by Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002).  Lindgren wrote over forty books for children – fairy tales, picture
books, and chapter books, with most of them taking place in the bucolic
countryside of her native Sweden.  Set on a tiny, pristine island in the Stockholm archipelago, Seacrow Island recounts the charming summer adventures of the Melkerson children and their goofy yet lovable father who decamp for this rustic refuge every year. Seacrow Island appeared in 1964, nearly twenty years after the publication of Pippi Longstocking, and while the Melkersons don’t have superhuman strength, the book is filled with equally remarkable characters. (Each of the Melkerson children has a markedly different personality, giving readers ample opportunities to identity with any one of them.) The book was so popular when it was first published that it was also adapted for TV and a feature film. (Lindgren wrote the screenplays for both.) Evelyn Ramsden’s peppy translation brings this gem to a new generation of English-speaking readers, and reminds us that simple pleasures are often the most memorable.