Alex Wolff will play Leonard Cohen in a new series about the Canadian icon and his muse Marianne Ihlen.
Thea Sofie Loch Næss (“The Last Kingdom,” “Delete Me”) will portray Ihlen in the show, which is called “So Long, Marianne” — the title of one of Cohen’s songs about his partner. Other cast members include Anna Torv (“The Newsreader,” “The Last of Us”) as Charmian Clift and Noah Taylor (“Preacher,” “Peaky Blinders”) as George Johnston.
The show is a co-production between Norwegian broadcaster NRK and Canada’s Crave, the streaming service owned by Bell Media. Cineflix Rights is distributing the series globally.
Principal photography on the show began on March 24, with shooting taking place on the Greek island of Hydra — where Cohen first met Ihlen — as well as Ihlen’s home country of Norway, and the late singer’s hometown of Montreal, Canada.
“So Long, Marianne” is billed as an “intimate tale of two, lonely people falling in love, during a period of their life when they are trying to figure out who they are and their place in the world, while one is becoming one of the most famous singers of all time.”
The majority of the series is focused on the picturesque Greek island of Hydra where the couple lived during the 1960s. There, they joined Australian novelists Charmian Clift and her husband George Johnston, the matriarch and patriarch of a bohemian group of writers, artists, poets and outcasts who were exploring a new world of free love, drugs and artistic freedom, while also experiencing the rivalries and jealousy that accompanied their intense, interwoven lives.
Wolff will star this fall in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” The star is also reteaming with “Pig” filmmaker Michael Sarnoski on Paramount Pictures’ “A Quiet Place: Day One” alongside Lupita Nyong’o, set for a 2024 release.
Developed by Ingeborg Klyve (“Exit”) and Tony Wood (“Irvine Welsh’s Crime”) and written for the screen by Øystein Karlsen (“Dag”), who is also among the directors, and Jo Nesbø (“Harry Hole”), “So Long, Marianne” is co-produced by Letters From Leonard, Tanweer Productions and Connect3.
Executive producers are Ales Ree for NRK, Richard Tulk-Hart and Tony Wood, Vegard Stenberg Eriksen and Ingeborg Klyve for Redpoint Productions, Dionyssis Samiotis and Nancy Kokolaki for Tanweer Productions, and André Barro and Pablo Salzman for Connect3.
Øystein Karlsen, series creator for Redpoint Productions, said: “It feels like the way the world is right now, a series that celebrates life and love, with a core about finding your way in life, is needed more than ever.”
Marianne Furevold-Boland, head of drama for NRK, added: “Øystein Karlsen has shown in his previous projects that he can create original dramas that are both exciting and emotional. We believe this project has the potential to become a timeless drama with a universal appeal — it is about life and the pursuit of happiness.”
Justin Stockman, VP of English content development and programming at Bell Media, said: “As Crave continues to expand its output of original content in both English and French, we’re excited to be part of this unique co-production opportunity and lean into the strengths of our international partners to deliver stories that translate, and resonate around the world.”
James Durie, head of scripted at Cineflix Rights, said: “’So Long, Marianne’ must be one of the most iconic love stories of the last century. The events the series depicts, the beautiful locations in which it’s set and with an incredible cast, makes it a drama that will enthrall audiences around the world, whether they know the story already or are coming to it fresh.”
Wolff is repped by WME, Untitled and Definition Entertainment. Loch Næss is repped by Actors in Scandinavia, Independent Talent Group, Gallant Management, Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Torv is repped by United Management and WME. Taylor is repped by Lou Coulson Associates in London and Andrew Freedman in the U.S.
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