She’s an impossibly strong pirate heir with a bag of gold and no desire to take crap from anyone. Pippi Longstocking, the red-haired heroine created by classic children’s author Astrid Lindgren, is getting a new film from the folks behind one of the best children’s book adaptations of our time: Paddington.
In a press release, Studiocanal and Heyday Films announced they were teaming up with the Astrid Lindgren Company to develop a film adaptation of Pippi Longstocking, based on the children’s series that ran from 1945 to 1948. The stories have been translated into dozens of languages, and Pippi’s adventures have been adapted into several shows and films. Hayao Miyazaki even tried to make an anime version, but couldn’t secure the rights.
Taking inspiration from a series of stories she told her daughter, Lindgren created a strong and independent role model for young folks — the fun-loving daughter of a pirate king who lived on her own and regaled her neighbours with tales of her amazing adventures. The stories contained their share of scary and mature subject material, and Lindgren wasn’t afraid to challenge the audience. Pippi is considered to be a 20th-century feminist icon, a young girl who forged her own path... and also had super-strength. She could lift a horse with one arm!
That said, Pippi Longstocking does have its share of problems. The original stories have faced criticism over the years for their use of colonial racist stereotypes and other outdated racist language, something that has been addressed more recently.
In 2014, the Swedish national broadcaster edited two scenes from the 1960s Pippi Longstocking show that were deemed offensive, with the approval of Lindgren’s heirs. It stands to reason that the new film would likewise avoid including those moments.
No expected production schedule or release date has been announced but we’ll bring you more as we know it.