Mannerheim premieres in the autumn 2010. Hannu Raittila writes a novel based on the Harlin film

According to producer Markus Selin, the shooting of Renny Harlin’s Mannerheim starts next summer. The Finlandia Award winner Hannu Raittila writes a novel based on the film script. The novel will be published in October 2009.

The film premiere is postponed to autumn 2010 due to the fact that the winter shooting period planned for this spring won’t take place before late 2009. “Our intensive negotiations during the last few weeks have been productive, but there’s still a lot of work to do to finalize the financing”, says Markus Selin. According to him, the over 10 Million Euro budget will be closed, but the negotiations take some time. “After that, we still need 3–4 weeks for preparations – so the snow will be melted by then.”

Hannu Raittila’s upcoming novel about the soldier and statesman Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim is based on the film script by Heikki Vihinen and Marko Leino, but it is an independent work of art. It describes the experiences and memories Mannerheim from within; what it was like to be him.
The framework of the novel will be widened from that of the film – the old Mannerheim writes his memoires in Switzerland: childhood in Louhisaari castle, hardships in the cadet school, the tsarian jet set with its charming ladies and the horse riding across Asia all seem like children’s play compared to the history leading towards the years of destiny. Mannerheim was the leader of the white army in Finland’s bitter civil war and, as the Commander-in-Chief, took the responsibility for the future of Finland during the winter war and continuation war.
”Mannerheim is a fascinating person and theme for a novel. We don’t know the real Mannerheim, but one of the strengths of a novel is the ability to mediate experiences and impressions as well as sensations and even odours. With prose, it is possible to express, how it feels to be wounded, to be in love or to die”, says Hannu Raittila.

Director Renny Harlin is impressed by the book project. “Acclaimed film makers seek themes in literature, but when has an ambitious author wanted to write an independent novel based on a film or a film script?” he asks. “As the director I know what the Mannerheim of this film is like, but the Mannerheim of the novel I will probably meet with feelings mixed with some fear”, he confesses. “Literature and cinema are parallel and complementary art forms. I’m very proud of being the director of the original film that will be compared with the parallel novel of an acclaimed author.”

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