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Sunday, May 10, 2009

A fantasyland farce: ABBA movie idea?

(Caution: Slightly humorous sections evolved and developed in the wind-up, below .)

Nah.....It would probably play out too "nice" and/or wholesome for today's Hollywood. And it might be more difficult than it seems to produce a good, authentic movie about the subjects. However:

I sincerely think the highlighted life stories of both ABBA singers would make an interesting movie (and/or a book). A "true-life" drama/depiction, perhaps focusing upon their journeys and key experiences up through the ABBA years, and maybe glimpses afterward. (But detailed post-ABBA adventures might have to be a "part two", or another story entirely.)

Maybe it's been covered in other publications as well, but I know Carl Magnus Palm's "Bright Lights, Dark Shadows" delved into Anni-Frid Lyngstad's and Agnetha Fältskog's upbringing. And further provided interesting information about their early careers, etc. Glimpses of their on- and off-stage lives during ABBA (and beyond), too.

We also have 1977's "ABBA - The Movie" and other films showing the ladies performing with ABBA, looks from behind the scenes, etc. Plus the many pioneering ABBA song promo videos, and filmed and print interviews with the singers, etc. (There's probably even more that I don't know about it....)

Both fronting females have interesting upbringings. Anni-Frid's saga in particular is a true "rags-to-riches" story.  Agnetha's rapid rise as a young singer is also compelling. (Must leave the details to Mr. Palm's book, etc.....) Plus - if someone could get them to talk about it more - I'm sure they each have fascinating anecdotes and stories from their whirlwind days with ABBA. (Happy, and not-so.) I imagine that even a movie about just one of the popular singing stars would be interesting, but covering both (and their interaction) would be better.

In addition to their singing and presenting talent, both women just happen to be memorably attractive. And that's where one problem making such a movie comes in: The two ladies are very well known, especially in Europe and Australia. (Where I think such a movie would be most popular.) They were photographed incessantly.  Committed to film many times. (Agnetha even did a feature film. Link to a snippet.) Thus, for an authentic depiction I think it is a "must" to try and find a couple very similar looking women. Otherwise, it won't play well; there are too many of us around who distinctly remember much about the fronting ladies. So good luck there: Both actors selected would need to be nicely tall; almost the exact same height. Long legs. (I.e., no petites this time.) Plus each original ABBA singer had a unique smile (in my opinion, but also that of others). How would someone come close to replicating those?

I'm biased, but Agnetha in particular would have to be "done right" (in appearance). (Per above Frida really has to be, also.) To many but not to all, the blonde was ABBA' s primary focal point. (Band management seemed to know this.)

Funny though, I can recall an actor/role that came close to what Agnetha showed during ABBA's peak: Supergirl(!)  Ms. Fältskog had to essentially be that anyway, balancing motherhood (etc.) with....well, ABBA.

Helen Slater in 1984's "Supergirl" would be my choice....if only we could somehow travel back for her portrayal. I can't show her photos from then as it's all copyrighted, but here's a link that includes a couple. (More can be found in Google's images, etc.)

So Agnetha's potential "depict-er" wouldn't be too difficult to locate: All she needs to be is Supergirl.

Yeeahhhhh......my 'vision' for a portion of this role seems to be coalescing.....(itsa link, below):

(Update: Just thought about it a tiny bit...Catherine Zeta-Jones might make a very nice-looking Frida....I think she's rather tall, too. (Update: Yes; of course: There is a similar topic re Frida look-alikes at 'abba4ever.com'. (There's one for Agnetha there as well.)  Link: http://www.iphpbb.com/board/ftopic-30652567nx61610-5738.html )

There are other potential problems with finding convincing actors to portray the two stunners from ABBA. Singing would need to be dubbed in, and obtaining ABBA's permission (to use their music and recorded voices) would be a feat. I'm sure ABBA might approve -- with input and control over aspects of the film -- for only a memorable, first-rate cinema production.  To do the job right you'd really need to involve both original singers in the making of the movie, and probably one or both of the men songwriter/producers, too. That starts to get into several complications.... Plus, you'd likely need to film a great deal in Sweden/Europe (close to your ABBA singer/advisers); and we start to see more issues surface. Although Scandinavia would probably be a decent place to hunt for certain beauties (like above) who might just "fit the bill". But they'd also have to be able to properly lip-synch the singing (not so easy to do well), and -- of course -- dance (in outlandish outfits) pretty much like they're making it up as they go along.....Plus there'd be this minor, overall job called "acting", too.  (And must be able/willing to interact with shaggy guys wearing white jumpsuits, leisure suits, etc. That includes occasional touching.)

There are other issues, of course. But if someone just wants to churn out another Hollywood schlock biopic or similar, several of the items noted above could sort of be glossed over, I suppose. Be prepared to most likely then be sued by various members of ABBA. And best of luck getting many older European, Australian and other knowledgeable fans to attend your flick. (Americans might buy in....many will watch anything once.) Etc.

So it doesn't appear that I'll be submitting any script-work for such a silver screen masterpiece any time soon. A shame. A well-done, serious effort would be eminently watchable.

But if any dedicated, creative-types want to "cop" my vision here and run with it, drop a comment on this *copyrighted* blog.  I'll have my machine get back to your machine....Oh, and if Agnetha can't be coaxed to oversee things, I'll gladly stand in as a second-rate technical adviser for your epic. Reasonable rates, uhh... by Hollywood standards.....

(Old image from Google/LIFE archives (1955). "Director George Stevens lining up shot in camera for the movie "Giant."")

This post is backdated. It's actual creation date is December, 2009.

Link to my full blog: http://star4abba.blogspot.com/

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