Ahead of the film’s market premiere at Berlin’s European Film Market, Beta Cinema has announced first deals for “Operation Napoleon” to France (Mediawan), Spain (Twelve Oaks), Poland (Hagi Film), Former Yugoslavia (MegaCom), Japan (Tohokushinsha) and Taiwan (AV-Jet).
The English-language thriller is based on the eponymous best-selling novel by Icelandic crime author Arnaldur Indriðason and stars Icelandic newcomer Vivian Ólafsdóttir (“It Hatched”) and Iain Glen, best known for his role as Dr. Alexander Isaacs in the “Resident Evil” film series and as Ser Jorah Mormont in “Game of Thrones.”
The sweeping story takes us from modern Iceland to America and Nazi Germany at the end of World War II. It centers on young Icelandic lawyer Kristin, who gets drawn into the vortex of an international conspiracy when she receives grainy footage of an old airplane wreck, recently revealed by the melting of one of Iceland’s largest glaciers.
The old German World War II plane not only brings ruthless criminals onto the scene, but also CIA vice director William Carr, who had already been secretly trying to remove the wreck for a long time. Kristin places herself in great danger, refusing to rest until the key has been discovered that will solve the riddle of “Operation Napoleon.”
“Operation Napoleon” is directed by Óskar Þór Axelsson, whose feature films “Black’s Game” and “I Remember You” both were box-office hits in Iceland. Axelsson directed from a script by Marteinn Þórisson (“Silent Witness,” “Jack Taylor”), based on the international bestselling novel by Arnaldur Indriðason. Indriðason’s “Reykjavík Murder Mystery” series has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 41 languages. For “Silence of the Grave,” Indriðason was awarded the renowned Gold Dagger, given annually by the U.K.’s Crime Writers’ Assn. for the best crime novel of the year. He has also been awarded the Nordic Crime Novel Prize for two years running.
The cast is rounded out with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“Trapped,” “The Minister,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “True Detective” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”), Jack Fox (Sky Atlantic’s breakout series “Riviera,” “Sanditon,” “Cheaters”), Wotan Wilke Möhring (“Valkyrie,” “Sløborn”), Atli Óskar Fjalarsson, Adesuwa Oni, Anette Badland, Birna Rún Eiríksdóttir, Höskuldur Þór Jónsson, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, Þröstur Leó Gunnarsson and Hjörtur Jóhann Jónsson.
“Operation Napoleon” is produced by Tinna Proppé and Hilmar Sigurðsson of Sagafilm in Iceland, alongside Dirk Schweitzer and Anita Elsani for Splendid Entertainment in Germany. Kjartan Thor Thordarsson, Ralph Christians and Adalsteinn Jóhannsson serve as executive producers.
“Operation Napoleon” originates from within the Beta family, being one of the first theatrical movies since Beta Nordic Studios acquired a 25% stake in Reykjavík-based Sagafilm in 2020.
Support came from the Icelandic Film Fund, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and Deutscher Filmförderfonds. German public broadcaster ZDF is co-producing and has secured free TV rights.
Sam Film releases theatrically in Iceland on Feb. 3, and Splendid Film/24 Bilder will follow in Germany on March 9.
Beta Cinema will host two market screenings at the European Film Market.