Magnolia dives for thriller ‘Pioneer’

Erik Skjoldbjaerg directs conspiracy thriller

LONDON — U.S. distrib Magnolia Pictures has picked up Norwegian thriller “Pioneer” as a pre-sale, following a promo screening in Berlin.

“Pioneer,” which stars Aksel Hennie (“Headhunters”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”) and Stephen Lang (“Avatar”), is a conspiracy thriller inspired by 70s classics such as “The Conversation,” “Three Days of the Condor” and “Chinatown.”

It is set in the early 80s at the beginning of the boom in oil exploration off the coast Norway, and centers on a professional diver. The budget is Euros 6.5 million ($8.7 million).

Pic is helmed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg, who broke through on the international scene in 1997 with his debut feature “Insomnia.” That film sold to more than 20 countries, and was remade by Christopher Nolan.

In 2001, Skjoldbjaerg directed the U.S. film “Prozac Nation,” which starred Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs.

“Pioneer” is produced by Friland Film’s Christian Fredrik Martin, who also produced Norwegian thriller “Headhunters.” Magnolia also distribbed “Headhunters.”

“Pioneer’s” co-producers are Pandora Filmproduktion, Garagefilm International, Film i Vast, Les Films d’Antoine, MRP Matila Rohr Productions and Nordisk Film. TrustNordisk is handling international sales.

Pic is in post and will be released this fall.

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