With hardly a week to go until the first heat of the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix kicks off, plans have been unveiled about the making of a film based on and around the popular annual TV event. With the working title MGP, the film is based on the book with the same name.
Author Magne Hovden’s novel MGP is due to be launched on January the 13th . Asked why he chose to write a novel about the contest, Hovden was quick off the mark to point out that the show enjoys immense popularity in Norway and is something that most people have an opinion about in one form or another. He cites the quirkiness of the contest as well as its entertainment factor which makes the TV show so unique and gives it such a broad appeal.
The main character in the film is to be a washed out singer looking to make a comeback along with his group The Vikings. They have a burning desire to win Melodi Grand Prix and go on to win the Eurovision Song Contest. The singer, Hovden reveals, will be a character that everyone can relate to and will find endearing. The enthusiastic writer also goes on to tell of his plans to try and get Norwegian celebrities involved in the project Rolf Løvland, amongst others. Per Sundnes would ideally accept a cameo role in the film, alongside other household names. Sundnes has also contributed to the novel, writing the foreword and was also instrumental in assisting Hovden’s research into the contest, providing him with ample material.
Per Sundnes enthused about the work that Hovden has put into the project, stating that it was "clearly obvious that he (the author) had paid close attention to the history of the contest and has managed to stay true to the essence of the contest" when depicting it in his novel. Sundnes also quipped "I also hope I get to play myself". Writer Mads Eriksen is currently in the process of turning the book into a script for the proposed film. "There are many obstacles to overcome when trying to reach the Eurovision Song Contest, and the film will by and large focus on the band and the friction that arises when they make their bid to win the contest", he goes on to say. Eriksen also tells of a surprising twist within the plot, namely "a kind of Slovak mafia, who want to see The Vikings go all the way in their quest for fame and glory", Without revealing too much of the plot.
Mads Eriksen states that the film is currently intended for the domestic Norwegian market, but also says that if the film should become a great success, bigger plans for a potential European release could well be possible. When asked if the public even want a film about the contest, he explains "I think the viewing public will to an extent tire of the show, but I also think the time is right for a film which puts the media circus into perspective, giving viewers an ironic take on the show as well as providing them with that all important feel good factor". Film production company Lysthuset have been taking a closer look at the script and say that they are impressed with the wit and quality of the material and that the prospect of a film about Norway’s favourite TV show are looking very bright indeed. Production of the film is expected to take between 1 to 2 years, so we’ll just have to be patient and hope that something comes of the project.