FilmNation has set Craig Gillespie to direct an english-language remake of the Norwegian coming of age drama/thriller Thelma. The original Thelma hit theaters last year and was directed by Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier of Reprise and Louder Than Bombs fame. Eili Harboe (The Wave) starred as the film's namesake - a young woman long sheltered from the world by her extremely religious parents who, upon beginning her university studies, comes to realize that she has strange and inexplicable psychokinetic abilities.
Gillespie, for his part, is coming off the critical success of last year's biopic I, Tonya. The Tonya Harding memoir landed star Margot Robbie her first Best Actress Oscar nomination and ended up taking home the prize for Best Supporting Actress (thanks to Allison Janney's performance as Harding's mother, LaVona Golden) at this year's Academy Awards ceremony. It seems the Thelma remake will serve as Gillespie's followup to that film, seeing as he doesn't have any other major projects lined up at the moment.
According to Deadline, FilmNation Entertainment only just optioned its rights to remake Trier's film and has recruited lesser-known writer Christy Hall to tackle the script. Since the project is still in the early stages of development, it might be some time before casting gets fully underway. All the same, Gillespie is firmly attached to direct and will presumably begin searching for someone to play the titular character as soon as he gets an official green-light.
The news that Thelma is getting a remake will no doubt come as a disappointment to many of those who saw and enjoyed Trier's original film. While it only received a (very) limited theatrical release in the U.S., Thelma was widely praised by critics for (among other things) its LGBTQI+ romance subplot and how it puts a fresh spin on otherwise familiar coming of age sci-fi/horror tropes. Seeing as the well-respected Norwegian version was released in its native country barely over a year ago and hit UK and U.S. market a couple months after, one could reasonably argue that it's far too soon to be talking about a Thelma remake already.
On the other hand, an english-language Thelma could help to bring more attention to Trier's original (and, naturally, english subtitled) movie. Moreover, Gillespie has long proven himself to be a versatile director capable of handling anything from an idiosyncratic dramedy (Lars and the Real Girl) to an insightful and inventive biopic (I, Tonya) or even an entertaining remake of a 1980s horror-comedy (Fright Night). That is to say, he's as good a choice as anyone to try and make a worthy Thelma retelling that can stand comfortably alongside its predecessor.
We will bring you more details on the Thelma remake as they become available.