After the war, Tordenskiold is ready for his real battle
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Henrik Ruben Genz casts Jakob Oftebro as the 18th-century Danish naval hero in his “atypical and cheeky period film”
Award-winning Danish director Henrik Ruben Genz has started principal photography for Tordenskiold [+see also:
film profile], the only surviving project out of the two portrayals of the Danish-Norwegian naval hero that were announced in 2012.
Norway's Filmkameratene had planned a film by Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters [+see also:
film profile]) from a script by Danish writers Mikael Olsen and Gert Duve Skovlund, but it was shelved when Tyldum pulled out and left for Hollywood.
The other, from Denmark’s Nimbus Film, was originally meant to be shot by Icelandic director Dagur Kari from a screenplay by Norwegian author Erlend Loe. But now Ruben Genz is filming Loe’s story, with Norwegian actor Jakob Oftebro and Danish actor Martin Buck in the leads.
“It is an atypical and cheeky period film, portraying the friendship between Tordenskiold and his manservant, Kold. The year is 1720, the peace agreement has been signed, and the 29-year-old vice-admiral has no idea what to do with his life,” is how Ruben Genz describes the production. “We focus on the last weeks in the life of the national hero – a man of the world who is falling apart; a sort of rock star who is losing his stage, and therefore his identity. We will take the audience on an entertaining voyage, deeper and deeper into the dark corners of mind and desire.”
“The straightjacket of the myth sometimes overshadows the real human being; we want to depict a man who is probably closer to ourselves than we think,” says Loe about Tordenskiold, who was born in Trondheim, Norway (then a tributary to Denmark). Tordenskiold served in the Royal Danish-Norwegian Navy during the Great Northern War (1700-1721) – his greatest achievement was when he destroyed the fleet of Swedish King Karl XII at the Battle of Dynekilen in 1716.
Educated in Denmark, Oftebro has been busy since his performance in the Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated Kon-Tiki [+see also:
film profile]: a Shooting Star at the Berlinale, he starred in Christian E Christiansen's On the Edge [+see also:
interview: Danica Curcic
interview: Jakob Oftebro
film profile] and Jonas Alexander Arnby's When Animals Dream [+see also:
interview: Jonas Alexander Arnby
film profile], and he can currently be seen in Ole Bornedal's TV series on Danish pubcaster DR, 1864.
After his award-winning children’s film debut, Someone Like Hodder (2003), Ruben Genz has directed, among others, the mystery-drama Terribly Happy [+see also:
film profile] (2008), which received five Bodils from Denmark’s National Association of Film Critics and seven Roberts from the Danish Film Academy. Most recently, he directed the comedy-drama Excuse Me (2012).
Tordenskiold will be staged by Danish producer Lars Bredo Rahbek, for Nimbus Film, Norway’s Hummel & Nimbus in Oslo, the Czech Republic’s Sirena Film and Sweden’s Anagram Film. Nordic distribution of the Eurimages-backed movie will be handled by SF Film, which has scheduled the local premiere for winter 2015-2016.
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