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Four Nordic directors leave home turf for foreign assignments


- Denmark’s Nikolaj Arcel, Norway’s André Øvredal, and Sweden’s Ella Lemhagen and Daniel Fridell have been contracted to direct international features

Four Nordic directors leave home turf for foreign assignments
Director Nikolaj Arcel (© Jeppe Gudmundsen)

Danish director Nikolaj Arcel, who most recently made the Oscar-nominated and Berlinale-winning A Royal Affair [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
interview: Nikolaj Arcel
film profile
(2012), scripted the first three instalments in Zentropa Entertainments’ Department Q franchise, based on Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s novels. After Mikkel Nørgaard directed the first two, he was then due to direct number three.

However, he had to give it a miss (read the news) due to his US assignments. According to Danish film magazine Ekko, a feature based on DC Comics’ Vertigo comic book Fables, scripted by Jeremy Slater, is the most imminent (for Warner Bros), but he has also been connected to Don Winslow’s crime drama/mystery Power of the Dog and a remake of UK director Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940).

Norwegian director André Øvredal, whose The Troll Hunter [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Andre Øvredal
film profile
(2010) won numerous awards, including an Audience Amanda – Norway’s national film prize – has been working for several years on his UK debut, the supernatural thriller The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which has now been scheduled for a 30 March shoot.

Based on Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing’s 2013 screenplay about father-and-son coroners who receive a mysterious corpse containing terrifying secrets, the horror movie will star Scottish actor Brian Cox and US actor Emile Hirsch in the Fred Berger and Eric Garcia production for their Impostor Pictures.

Swedish director Ella Lemhagen (The Boy with the Golden Pants/2014) is readying the US production of All Roads Lead to Rome, with American Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker in the lead, as well as Italian actors Raoul Bova and Marco Bonini, Spanish actress Paz Vega and British actress Rosie Day.

Scripted by UK writers Josh Appignanesi and Cindy Myers, the comedy following an American woman who comes to Italy with her 17-year-old daughter – Lemhagen’s first international assignment – is produced by Paradox Entertainment and Ambi Pictures, and will be released in late 2015.

Swedish director Daniel Fridell (El Medico: The Cubaton Story/2011) is making Van Gogh, the first English-language biopic about Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh since US director Vincente Minnelli’s 1956 Kirk Douglas starrer Lust for Life, produced by Dutch company Kalliope Films.

Kalliope CEO Kira Madallo Sesay has written the film and will produce it with the company’s head of production, Emiel Pijnaker, “having spent over six years as van Gogh ‘detectives’, travelling to places where he lived, worked or visited, uncovering archives and other evidence to give an accurate and authentic depiction”.

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