Debra Granik Developing Treatment for PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

     January 10, 2011

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Way back in 2010, Debra Granik teased out one of the most powerful performances for a female lead in recent cinematic history via Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. Now it seems that she has set her sights even higher in attempting to bring “the strongest human being in the world” back to the big screen. In a recent interview, Granik divulged that she and producer/co-writer Anne Rosellini are developing a treatment for Pippi Longstocking.

To see what Granik had to say about the project, and for some background on the titular character, hit the jump.

debra-granik-image(2)In talking with the LA Times, Granik appeared to have a personal stake in showcasing another strong female role model:

“As a kid, I got really envious of men’s coming of age in movies. Their knowledge of darkness would grow, their compassion would grow, whatever it was, it felt like they would gain something, and the female coming of age often was punitive, like an unwanted pregnancy. We’re all like, ‘Oh God, I’m so glad I’m not her.'”

In addition to her discouragement with female coming of age stories, Granik also discussed what she believes to be a positive consequence of more films showcasing strong female protagonists:

“People are finding these heroines charismatic, unexpected and fresh. What a person in the business can get from that is, ‘Hey, a young female protagonist doesn’t need to have a boyfriend, get pregnant, cut herself or be naked to attract an audience.'”

As for Pippi Longstocking, the character was the namesake of a series of children’s books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking have been translated into 64 different languages and adapted into multiple movies and television shows. The plot summary for the 1969 film goes something like this [via IMDb]:

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Pippi Longstocking, a child of incredible strength, moves by herself to a Swedish town with her monkey, horse, and a bag full of gold coins. She befriends two children, Annika and Tommy, shocks the adults of the town, defends herself from bandits, and has a reunion with her seafaring father.

Often credited with being the original tom-boy, Pippi Longstocking will look to draw in an audience based on a beloved storyline and a strong central heroine (literally, I mean she lifts her horse up with one hand!). That said, if recent box office totals and award nods are any indication (i.e. True Grit), there is definitely room in theaters for well-executed stories that feature women who help save the day.

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