EXCLUSIVE: Lydia Leonard (the English Call My Agent remake), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) and Sverrir Gudnason (Borg Vs. McEnroe) are leading the cast of Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s first English language feature Northern Comfort.
The project is getting principal photography underway now in Iceland, beginning in lake Mývatn before moving to Reykjavik and eventually the UK and France. Above is a first-look at the cast in action.
Also starring are Ella Rumpf, Simon Manyonda and Rob Delaney. The film is a comedy in which a motley group of people with a chronic fear of flying are stranded in the wintry north.
Paris-based Charades is handling world sales on the project. Film4 has taken UK free TV rights, Scanbox has pre-bought Nordic rights, Weltkino has rights in Germany and SENA will handle distribution in Iceland.
Director Sigurdsson’s previous work includes Under The Tree, which debuted at Venice Film Festival in 2017 and was widely distributed around the world. His debut feature Either Way was remade by David Gordon green in the U.S. as Prince Avalanche.
On Northern Comfort, Sigurdsson wrote the screenplay with Halldor Laxness Halldorsson and Tobias Munthe. Producers are Grimar Jonsson through his Netop Films, with Mike Goodridge of Good Chaos (UK) and Sol Bondy and Fred Burle of One Two Films (Germany) as co-producers.
Tony-nominated actress Leonard is set to head the cast of the upcoming English remake of Call My Agent for Amazon Prime Video and AMC. Spall is a two-time BAFTA nominee, while Sverrir Gudnason’s credits include Borg vs. McEnroe, in which he played Borg.
Northern Comfort was financed in association with the Icelandic Film Centre, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RUV, ZDF/ARTE, Creative Europe and HES Honest Equity Strategies.
It was developed with the backing of Film4 in the UK, and financed in association with Rocket Science. Christoph Lange of HES and Thorsten Schumacher of Rocket Science are executive producers.
“Northern Comfort is a comedy that takes us on an unexpected journey with an unlikely group of characters whose paths would never have crossed had it not been for the fear they all share,” said Sigurdsson. “The theme of managing fear and vulnerability lies at the core of the story. These very human experiences are rich foundations for all the things I love to see in films: absurdist comedy, human drama and colorful characters that take you on a visual and cinematic journey.”
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