The year is 1720, and the Great Northern War, in which Denmark-Norway, Saxony, Poland-Lithuania and Russia attacked the Swedish Empire, is over. Vice-AdmiralTordenskjold now does not know what to do with his life; should he marry and settle down?
Instead, he goes on a trip through Denmark and Germany, and everywhere he goes, he talks about his greatest achievement: the moment when, in 1716, his light force destroyed the supply fleet of Sweden’s King Charles XII at the Battle of Dynekilden. He is like a rock star of the time, but still his problems pile up.
“Tordenskjold was innovative, a weirdo, a drunkard and a womaniser,” said Norwegian author Erlend Loe, who wrote the script for Danish director Henrik Ruben Genz’s upcoming story of the nobleman and naval hero, who was killed in a duel at Hildesheim, Germany, aged 29. “He lived in the 18th century, which gives you more liberty than, for example, writing a film about Thor Heyerdahl – then somebody will always pick up the phone and correct you.”
Both the Danish and the Norwegian film institutes have supported the €5 million production, with €1.1 million and €400,000, respectively, which will be staged by Danish producer Lars Bredo Rahbek, of Nimbus Film, with Sweden’s Anagram (Gunnar Carlsson) and the Czech Republic’s Sirena Film (Kristina Hejdukova, Pavel Müller).
Genz, whose Theis and Nico short (1999) was nominated for an Oscar, and whoseTerribly Happy[+] (2008) won three Roberts from the Danish Film Academy (Best Feature, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), will start principal photography in the autumn, for an autumn 2015 opening.
Last year, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s biopic of Tordenskjold received €1.9 million worth of support from the Norwegian Film Institute, for a €9 million production by Norwegian producers John M Jacobsen and Sveinung Golimo, of Oslo’sFilmkameratene, with Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments. Meanwhile, Tyldum has pulled out of the project.