TrustNordisk has come on board helmer Harald Zwart’s “The 12th Man,” a WWII-set drama telling the true story of Norwegian resistance hero Jan Baalsrud, who was trained by the British to fight the Nazis.
Scripted by Petter Skavlan (“Kon-Tiki”), “The 12th Man” is set in northern Norway and chronicles the journey of Baalsrud, who was the only one out of 12 resistance fighters, to escape the Germans following a failed raid at Bardufoss in 1943. The movie centers around Baalsrud’s relationship with his Norwegian countrymen, who helped him survive in the wilderness and reach neutral Sweden while being tracked down by the Gestapo.
Zwart said he and his wife, who is producing this film, bought the rights to the book 15 years ago. “This story is a natural treasure for Norway. It’s a great survival story; it sheds light on all the people who helped Baalsrud. They were the people in the country, fishermen and grandmothers who proved to be heroes themselves,” said Zwart.
The ambitious shoot takes place in two parts, the first of which just wrapped. The movie is expected to be delivered in fall 2017.
“The 12th Man” stars up-and-coming Norwegian actor Thomas Gullestad (“Tomme tønner “).
Pic marks Zwart’s return to Norwegian filmmaking after a raft of Hollywood pics, notably “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and “The Karate Kid” reboot.
Budgeted around $7.9 million, “The 12th Man” is produced by Veslemoey Ruud Zwart, Espen Horn for the shingle Zwart Arbeid, and Nordisk Film Norway’s Aage Aaberget.
Zwart will next direct Keanu Reeves in the China-set action film “Rally Car.”
TrustNordisk is handling international sales on “The 12th Man” and will start pre-selling the film at Cannes.