Will Ferrell is set to headline an upcoming CBS Films adaptation of author Jonas Jonasson's best selling novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. The comedy star will play the title character, a centenarian named Allan Karlsson who, on his 100th birthday, decides to leave his retirement home behind and sets off for a new adventure that involves vodka, explosions and even an elephant named Sonya.
Will Ferrell will also serve as a producer on The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, alongside regular creative cohorts Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum. Jason George, who served as the executive story editor on NBC's The Blacklist and producer on the third season of Netflix's Narcos, is already attached to script the film. George is also credited as having been a consultant on Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, so it sounds like he has some prior experience working alongside the Gary Sanchez Productions crew.
The book's central character, 100-year old Allan Karlsson, is an explosive expert and a bit of a lush. Pretty much all of his interactions with historical figures involve some kind of detonation. Jonas Jonasson tells The Hollywood Reporter that Will Ferrell is the perfect person to capture the spirit of the book, which also flashes back to Allan's younger days, revealing the Forrest Gump meets The Young Indiana Chronicles style adventures of a man who, throughout his 100 years, crossed paths with some of the most important names of the 20th century.
First published in Sweden in 2009, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was released domestically in 2012 to critical acclaim. The book has since sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has even already been adapted into an Academy Award nominated film. A Swedish production, released in 2013, was headlined by "the funniest man in Sweden," Robert Gustafsson and went on to become a sizable hit at the European box office. In fact, the big screen 100-Year-Old Man is currently the third-highest grossing Swedish film of all time, just after the Stieg Larsson adaptations The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire. In fact, the film was so popular that it already has a sequel: The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared was in theaters earlier this year.
Gary Sanchez Productions may very well be the perfect place for an English language take on The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. The book is filled with appearances from major historical figures and the company tends to work with a lot of fantastic comic talent. Just imagine borrowing the Anchorman cast and seeing David Koechner as Winston Churchill or Steve Carell as Charles de Gaulle.
Check back for additional casting updates on The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared as they become available. Even if the film turns out to just be Will Ferrell doing his Harry Caray impression for 90 minutes, though, it's probably still going to be a very funny time at the movies.