Netflix has ordered a new animated comedy series from “Norsemen” creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen, the creatives’ first foray into the cartoon arts at a time when adult-focused animation is booming and live-action production has slowed or stopped in many territories.
“Captain Fall” will track titular Jonathan Fall, a wet-behind-the-ears yet good-hearted sea captain who unwittingly finds himself at the helm of a smuggling ship. Details about animation style, casting, direction and production have yet to be announced.
Netflix has ordered 20 episodes of the show to be released in two parts. Helgaker and Torgersen will serve as creators, showrunners and executive producers for the series, with animation vet and Netflix producer Joel Trussell (“Electric City”) joining them as executive producer.
“Jon Iver and Jonas created a hilarious story in ‘Norsemen’ that connected with audiences all around the world. We can’t wait for fans to see their absurd fantastical genius come to life in their first animated series,” reads a statement from Mike Moon, head of adult animation for Netflix.
“We first pitched Captain Fall as a live action show, but Netflix saw the potential of it being animated,” Helgaker and Torgersen elaborated. “Although a bit scary in the beginning, moving from live action to animation just feels amazingly limitless and creative on a whole new level. And luckily Netflix has surrounded us with a group of extremely talented people, so everything is set up for us not screwing this one up. But you never know.”
While the decision to switch to animation was made long before the COVID-19 crisis and ensuing restrictions on live-action production were a factor, “Captain Fell” will default into the benefits of animation’s COVID-resiliency.
Set near the end of the 8th Century, live-action screwball comedy “Norsemen” turns on a pack of Viking warriors from the town of Norheim, and melds historic Viking traditions and lore with absurdist, slapstick humor. Season 3, a prequel which sheds light on previously unexplained or overlooked aspects of the show’s history, launched on Netflix earlier this month after successfully premiering in February and March on NRK in Norway.
In 2016 “Norsemen” premiered on NRK1 in Norway under the name “Vikingane” (Vikings), and boasted an average domestic audience of more than 1 million viewers, nearly 20% of the country’s entire population. It is produced for NRK by Viafilm and distributed internationally as a Netflix Original.