Two Icelandic 'volcanoes' unite to shoot Rocket Man
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
11/01/2012 - After three films in three different languages, most recently the US-set The Good Heart [trailer] (2009), Icelandic director Dagur Kári (pictured) will make his first Icelandic-language feature since Noi the Albino (2003), Rocket Man. The new film will be produced by fellow countryman Baltasar Kormákur and his Blueeyes Productions, currently packaging the project. It is the first time that the two Icelandic top filmmakers have worked together.
Kormakur’s own latest, Contraband – the US remake of Óskar Jónasson’s 2008 thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam [trailer], which he produced with himself in the lead – will be released next week (January 15), with a cast of Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and Kate Beckinsale. And The Deep, which he filmed in Iceland in 2010, will be prepared for a 2012 release.
News comes as the Icelandic Ministries of Culture and Finance have signed an agreement with the industry outlining a 62% increase of state support from now to 2015, which will amount to $5.7 million (ISK 700 million). During the past two years, funding has been slashed by 35%, due to the financial crisis.
”The Icelandic economy is still difficult, so it was probably the best result we could hope for. And Icelandic filmmakers are used to working with low budgets, and they have before delivered good films despite limited resources,” explained Icelandic Film Centre Managing Director Laufey Guðjónsdóttir.
Signed with Icelandic Producers Association, the Association of Icelandic Film Directors and the Icelandic Filmmakers Association, the agreement introduced a new support system based on box office earnings to be instigated this year. If Iceland’s economy improves faster than expected, government grants may be renegotiated.