Kormákur readies epic Viking project
by Annika Pham
Iceland’s star filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur is in advance preparation on his biggest project ever, the $50-$70m English-language Vikingr, most of which will be shot in Iceland.
Speaking to Cineuropa on his way back from Ireland, where he did some prepping for Vikingr, Kormákur said the film based on Icelandic Sagas will focus on Vikings bringing Irish slaves to Iceland. “It will be an action-driven film, absolutely huge in scope,” he said.
Kormákur came up with story and co-wrote the screenplay with his partner on White Night Wedding [+see also:
film profile], Ólafor Egilsson. Other key talents attached to the project include Oscar-nominated costume designer Consalata Boyle (The Queen [+see also:
interview: Andy Harries
interview: Stephen Frears
film profile]) and top production designer Karl Júlíusson (Max Manus [+see also:
Produced by 26 Films in the US, with Kormákur’s Blueeyes as minority-co-producer, Vikingr will be mostly shot in the director’s country to take advantage of the low Icelandic Krona against the dollar and to boost the local film economy. “We’re discussing raising the tax credit – the reimbursement of production expenditure in Iceland – with the government, from 14% to 20%,” revealed the filmmaker.
Vikingr will be his second film backed by 26 Films, following Inhale, which stars Dermot Mulroney and Diane Kruger. The thriller is now in post-production and Kormákur is finalising the score in Hollywood with Oscar-nominated composer James Newton Howard (Michael Clayton).
Blueeyes, one of the most solid production outfits in Iceland thanks in great part to the director’s star status at home, has several other projects in the pipeline. There are two more Kormákur films – Silence of the Grave, based on a best-selling novel by Arnaldur Indridason (Jar City), and Bird Artist, to be co-produced with Canada – as well as Summerland by first-time director Grimur Hakonarson.
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