Niels Arden Oplev’s Daniel ready for filming in October
by Davide Abbatescianni
- The upcoming Danish feature is based on the dramatic experience of photographer Daniel Rye, who was held captive by ISIS militiamen for more than a year
Director Niels Arden Oplev is ready to adapt the tragic story of freelance photographer Daniel Rye, who was captured while working in Syria in 2013, for the big screen. Daniel was kept hostage by ISIS for about 400 days, along with 23 other foreign nationals, including US video reporter James Foley, the first victim of the terrorist organisation, whose execution was filmed and published online. Oplev’s feature focuses on the young photographer’s captivity, the tense negotiations between the terrorists and Danish officials, and his family’s desperation. The script, penned in its entirety by Anders Thomas Jensen (The Dark Tower, The Shamer’s Daughter [+see also:
film profile]), is based on Puk Damsgård's best-selling book The Isis Hostage.
Rye is to be played by actor Esben Smed, best known for his roles as football player John "Faxe" Jensen in Kasper Barfoed’s sports drama Summer of ’92 [+see also:
interview: Esben Smed
film profile] and as Nicky Rasmussen in the crime series Follow the Money, produced by Danmarks Radio. Anders W Berthelsen portrays a Danish negotiator and has appeared in several films directed by Oplev, such as 2014’s Speed Walking [+see also:
film profile] and 2008’s Worlds Apart [+see also:
Filming is scheduled to begin in October in different locations in Sweden, Canada, Jordan and Denmark. The technical crew includes Eric Kress (Taken 3 [+see also:
film profile], Flatliners), who will serve as director of photography, and Anne Østerud (Heartstone [+see also:
interview: Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
film profile], What Will People Say [+see also:
interview: Iram Haq
film profile]), who will take care of the editing.
The movie is being produced by Morten Kaufmann (Word of God [+see also:
film profile]) and Signe Leick Jensen (Comeback [+see also:
film profile]) for Copenhagen-based firm Toolbox Film, with support from the Danish Film Institute, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the West Danish Film Fund, in co-operation with Swedish public broadcaster SVT - Sveriges Television and Finnish public broadcaster YLE.
Leading Scandinavian distribution firm TrustNordisk, which is in charge of the film’s international sales, plans to release Daniel in September 2019.
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