With his 3D mountain-climbing action-drama Everest for Universal, starring Robin Wright,Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley and Josh Brolin, slated for an 18 September premiere, Icelandic director-producer Baltasar Kormákur is preparing an English-language psychological thriller, The Oath, set to shoot in Iceland.
Scripted with Icelandic writer Ólafur Egilsson, the film announced at the Berlinale follows a well-respected doctor and family man in Reykjavik, whose life gets out of control when his daughter introduces her new – criminal – boyfriend.
“The Oath seemed like the perfect project after a large-scale adventure film like Everest – I want to delve into an intimate, dark and psychological world, where the characters are claustrophobic and tormented,” said Kormákur.
His first Icelandic feature since The Deep [+] (2012), which won 11 Eddas (Iceland’s national film prize), will be produced by Kormákur himself with Agnes Johansenand Magnus Vidar Sigurdsson, through his RVK Studios, in co-production with Germany’s Dynamic. LA-based NYZ Films will start sales at Cannes.
Meanwhile, Kormákur is in production with Iceland’s (so far) most expensive television series, Trapped, a 10 x 58-minute mystery thriller for Icelandic pubcaster RUV. Based on his own idea, he has himself written (with Sigurjón Kjartansson and Clive Bradley) and directed the first episode of the series, which has most recently been picked up by the UK’s BBC4.
Kormákur – whose latest production, fellow Icelandic director Dagur Kári’s Virgin Mountain [+], just won for Best Feature, Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Gunnar Jónsson) at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival – is also down to direct another film for Universal, Vikingr, based on the Icelandic sagas.