Sagafilm, Iceland’s leading production company, is joining forces with Lisa G. Black’s banner Garnet Girl to produce Páll Grímsson’s “Afterlands,” an adventure drama based on Steven Heighton’s acclaimed novel about the failed 1871 USS Polaris expedition to the North Pole.

“Afterlands” is set to topline Johannes Kuhnke, the star of Ruben Ostlund’s “Force Majeure,” popular German actor Sebastian Hulk (Netflix’s “Dark”) and Frederick Lau (“Victoria”).

The film will center on Roland Kruger, an idealistic German seaman, who along with 15
men, women and children of different national and ethnic backgrounds are cast adrift on an ice floe after
being separated from their ship. As days turn to weeks and rations run low, the crew splinters into factions along national and ethnic lines.

Heighton’s novel was first published in 2005 and has been unanimously praised by international literary critics. The Guardian’s Peter Nichols called it a “big, ambitious, literary adventure tale full of blood, gristle and soul.”

“It’s a true passion project I’ve been developing for a number of years and I’m excited to now get to tell this important and timely true story,” said Grímsson. The filmmaker added that he was looking forward to working with this “amazing cast, Judy Henderson, our casting director, as well as producer Lisa Black and the team at Sagafilm.”

Grímsson’s previous credits include the short film “The Pension Gang.” He’s also a co-producer on “Z for Zachariah,” the science fiction thriller with Chris Pine, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Margot Robbie which premiered at Sundance in 2015. Grímsson collaborated with Nissar Modi on the screenplay of the film.

As announced last week in Variety, Sagafilm is also developing “The Minister,” a political tragicomedy series about a politician with bipolar disorder who gets elected prime minister of Iceland. The company’s slate includes “Stella Blomkvist,” the crime thriller about a hard-nosed lawyer who takes on mysterious murder cases.