First published in 1881, Swiss author Johanna Spyri’s novel Heidi is one of the best-selling books ever written. As Wikipedia explains, the story follows “a joyful and free-spirited young girl who is orphaned as a toddler” as she develops a friendship with a girl named Klara, who is unable to walk. 141 years later, the Swiss icon Heidi is being reimagined as Mad Heidi for an over-the-top action-adventure horror comedy. The film will present Heidi
as she’s never been seen before – with smocked dress, puffed sleeves, apron and pigtails, yes, but as a badass, kick-ass rebel with the brute strength to slice an opponent in two, top to toe, with a battle axe, for example. In a dystopian Switzerland that has fallen under the fascist rule of a cheese magnate, Heidi lives as a simple young woman in the mountains. Her grandfather does his best to protect her from the bad influences of the world, but soon her longing for personal freedom will spark a revolution. The naive mountain girl turns into a fierce fighter who has to put an end to the cheese fascists.
While a release date has not yet been announced, the plan is for Mad Heidi to receive an “exclusive global release day and date on madheidi.com, a dedicated website created by A Film Company, during a three-month exclusive window. The film will then be made available on other platforms as well, followed by Blu-ray and DVD releases and TV.”
Johannes Hartmann made his feature directorial debut with Mad Heidi, working from a screenplay he wrote with Trent Haaga, Sandro Klopfstein, and Gregory D. Widmer. The English-language film boasts a budget of $3.5 million, $2 million of which was raised through crowd investment from 560 people across 19 counties. Here’s how Variety describes the promo teaser for Mad Heidi, which you can see in the embed above:
One rebel is tortured by boiling fondue poured over his head, another stabbed to death through his mouth by a Swiss hard chocolate dagger. Fighting back, Heidi works her way through a swathe of Nazi storm troopers via martial art moves and deft work with a Swiss army knife, then a battle axe.
Mad Heidi stars Alice Lucy (Junction 9) as Heidi and Almar G. Sato (Maniac Tales) as Klara. Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) and David Schofield (Gladiator) are also in the cast.
This is the second edgy reimagining of beloved children’s story characters we’ve talked about today, as this morning we reported that a horror movie called Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is coming our way. What do you think about the Mad Heidi idea? Let us know by leaving a comment below.