Rendel: Revenge Begets Revenge to be Finland’s first superhero actioner
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Finnish writer-director-producer Jesse Haaja announced the film at Cannes 2015, and at this year’s festival he will promote the movie, to be released in early 2017
Finnish writer-director-producer Jesse Haaja – owner of Finnish advertising agency Haaja & Arwo Design – has filmed dozens of commercials and music videos; now he will give birth to Finland’s first superhero, the masked avenger Rendel.
He first announced the idea at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where he found a co-producer and a distributor; he had himself scribbled down the first drafts of the comic character when still a schoolboy 17 years ago, and in 2013 – on his 30th birthday – he decided that now was the time for a full-length action feature, rather than the short he had originally imagined.
During the last year, he has been working on Rendel: Revenge Begets Revenge, filming in six Finnish cities – the public production funding system has not been involved, but with 72,000 followers on its Facebook page, there is a certain amount of audience anticipation. And according to Haaja, “I’m quite sure a lot of people will be surprised when they see the movie. There is a fair possibility of a mind fuck.”
Finnish actor Kristofer Gummerus (Xavier Picard’s Moomins on the Riviera [+see also:
film profile], Richard Curtis’ The Boat That Rocked [+see also:
film profile]) plays Rendel and is joined by a Finnish and international cast including Matti Onnismaa, Rami Rusinen, Alina Tomnikov, Minttu Tamski, Roosa-Maria Mäkinen, Renne Korppila, Australian actress Bianca Bradey (Road of the Dead, aka Wyrmwood) and US actress Sheila Shah (Saw V).
The screenplay for Rendel: Revenge Begets Revenge, the story of a man who becomes a masked vigilante to fight the powerful VALA criminal organisation that killed his family, has been written by Miika J Norvanto, Timo Puustinen and Pekka Lehtosaari; it is being produced by Puustinen, Norvanto and Haaja for Haaja & Arwo Design, Black Lion Pictures and Frozen Flame Pictures. Haaja is planning a major marketing campaign for the film at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival (11-22 May), while the domestic release is scheduled for early 2017 through Black Lion Pictures.