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‘Everest’ Director Baltasar Kormakur Teams With Olaf Olafsson on Pandemic-Set Love Story ‘Touching’

Baltasar Kormakur Teams With Olaf Olafsson
Lilja Jóns

Baltasar Kormakur (“2 Guns,” “Everest,” “Adrift”) and his banner, RVK Studios, are teaming up with Icelandic author Olaf Olafsson on the film adaptation of the writer’s bestselling novel “Touching” (“Snerting”).

Olafsson, a former executive VP at Time Warner, is a prolific and critically acclaimed author whose books – notably “Absolution,” “The Journey Home,” “The Sacrament” and “One Station Away” – have been published around the world being translated into more than 20 languages.

Set amid the 2020 pandemic, “Touching” – a working title for the movie – is described as a sensual and thrilling love story unfolding across the globe and woven into historical events. The novel, which ranked as Iceland’s best-selling book of 2020, takes place in today’s Reykjavík and Tokyo, and in London in the 1960s.

Olafsson is currently adapting the story into a screenplay. Kormakur will produce via his outfit RVK Studios and will direct the film, which is now in advanced development. Production is expected to start in 2022.

“The book was so gripping that it kept me reading for a whole night. I was instantly inspired to make a film based on it,” said Kormakur, whose work spans theater, movies and television.

A revered actor, filmmaker and producer, Kormakur has sought to power up his home industry leveraging a career which straddles Iceland and Hollywood and now one of the biggest studios in Europe at Iceland’s RVK Studios.

His credits take in “101 Reykjavík,” “Jar City,” “The Deep,” “Contraband” with Mark Wahlberg, “2 Guns” with Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, “The Oath” (in which he also stars), “Everest” with Jason Clarke and “Adrift” with Shailene Woodley, as well as the award-winning series “Trapped” and upcoming Netflix show “Katla.

Olafsson said he has been an “admirer of Baltasar Kormakur‘s work for a long time.” “His sensibility is a perfect match for ‘Touching,’ both in terms of the story and the characters.”

“With his experience internationally and his keen understanding of our native country and countrymen, I couldn‘t imagine a better director to make the novel into a film,” Olafsson added.

During the pandemic, Kormakur shot “Katla,” described as a supernatural volcano drama, at his RVK Studios. RVK Studios has produced all of Kormakur’s Icelandic movies and series, as well as his English-language movies “Everest” and “Adrift.”