After almost a year spent rounding up the $28.7 million budget, Svensk Filmindustri has greenlit Sweden's biggest movie project ever, the screen adaptation of Jan Guillou's bestselling crusades trilogy Arn.

The first of two movies based on Guillou's books about a 12th century knight is set for its Scandinavian preem in December 2007. The sequel opens in the fall of 2008, according to Variety.

The films will be based on scripts by Hans Gunnarsson, who previously adapted Guillou's Evil for the screen. The Mikael Hafstrom helmed movie picked up an Oscar nom in the foreign language category in 2004.

Arn is being produced by Svensk's Waldemar Bergendal. Co-production partners are the Swedish regional film fund Film i Vast, web TV2 Norway, Germany's Telepool, and pubcasters SVT from Sweden, DR from Denmark and Yle from Finland. The Swedish Film Institute is also supplying coin.

The story is an epic saga about war, friendship, treachery and, above all, love. Each pic will having a running time of 140 minutes and will be in Swedish and English.

According to Bergendahl, lensing will take place in Sweden, Jordan, Morocco, the U.K. and Denmark, starting in Jordan in December.

"We're currently looking for a Scandinavian director to helm the project, as well as Swedish and foreign actors," says Bergendahl, adding that more details will be revealed in September.

In an interview last year, Guillou said that his favorite actor for the part of Arn would be Stellan Skarsgard.

Brian B.