Santelmann to lead 'Northmen'

German-Norwegian actor Tobias Santelmann, who stars in the Oscar-nominated “Kon-Tiki,” is set to topline “Northmen — A Viking Saga.”

Santelmann will play the leader of a band of Vikings stranded behind enemy lines on the coast of Alba (as ancient Scotland was known), and pursued by fierce mercenaries until the Norsemen turn the tables on their enemy and the hunters become the hunted.

“After seeing ‘Kon-Tiki’ it was clear for me that only Tobias could give a powerful lead to our Viking tale,” said Ralph Dietrich, CEO of Zurich-based Ascot Elite Entertainment Group. “He reminds me of Kirk Douglas in the legendary film ‘The Vikings.'”

Claudio Faeh is directing the adventure pic from a screenplay by Mattias Bauer and Bastian Zach. Ascot Elite’s Elite Film Produktion is producing.

Dietrich, Karin G. Dietrich and Elite Film’s Daniel Hoeltschi are co-producing with Frank Kaminski, Ulrich Stiehm, Marco Del Bianco and Rolf Wappenschmitt, along with Hanover-based Jumping Horse Film.

“Northmen” will be shot in English with principal photography set to start in September in Bulgaria.

The Salt Company is handling international sales with eOne distributing in the U.K., France, Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Ascot Elite will release “Northmen” theatrically in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2014.

Santelmann, whose credits also include Roar Uthaug’s Norwegian historical actioner “Escape” and Rune Denstad Langlo’s upcoming “Jag etter vind,” is repped by Lene Seested of Panorama Agency and recently signed with Theresa Peters at UTA.

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