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Will Ferrell Will Play ‘The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared’

Will Ferrell
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

Among the more little-known names at last year’s Academy Awards was that of Allan Karlsson, the subject of the Swedish comedy The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared. The film was nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for transforming actor Robert Gustafsson through an entire lifetime, chronicling the full breadth of an extraordinary life that acquainted him with Stalin and Harry Truman. The Forrest Gumpian tale of one simple man accidentally making history everywhere he went struck a chord with audiences (it’s the highest-grossing Swedish film to date, excepting the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise) and voters in the Academy. Now, Hollywood’s hoping it’ll make some of the same magic in America.

Variety has broken the news that Will Ferrell will star in an Americanized remake of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared for CBS Films. To get an idea of the tone to expect, note that the film will be produced by Ferrell along with usual partner Adam McKay through their Gary Sanchez production house, suggesting a Step Brothers-ish project a few shades sillier than the original. But for a second, conflicting idea of the tone to expect, note that Narcos writer Jason George has been tapped to draw up a script. And there’s still no director in the mix, either, so it’s all pretty much up for debate.

My question is whether the American version will touch on the same milestones of global history. The title strictly defines our main character as a centenarian, so it’s not as if they can bump him up a few decades to tromp through the ’60 and ’70s as a young man, but even so. American palates might get more humor from, say, Elvis jokes than Oppenheimer jokes.

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