Scandinavian directors are making movies overseas


It seems Scandinavian directors are moving overseas, as Cineuropa has pointed out.

As we reported earlier this week, Nikolaj Arcel will no longer be directing the third instalment of the Department Q franchise as he’ll be heading over to the US to work on productions there. 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).

Meanwhile, in Norway, André Øvredal, whose The Troll Hunter (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 directorVincente Minnelli’s 1956 Kirk Douglas starrer Lust for Life, produced by Dutch companyKalliope 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”.


After news of the Force Majeure getting a potential remake, this saddens us. We love locally made content, but at the same time you can’t help but understand why Scandinavian filmmakers may be heading to the states. It’s a small industry in Scandinavia, but we can’t help but argue that the productions they release are of some of the best standards in the world. Hopefully all of these filmmakers will return home to create more fantastic Nordic productions.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.