Netflix today announced Against the Ice, a feature film directed by award-winning Danish director Peter Flinth and starring Emmy Award nominee Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and BAFTA nominee Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Skins). The film will debut on the streaming service in 2021.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau adapted the original Danish novel Two Against the Ice by Ejnar Mikkelsen into a screenplay with Joe Derrick. The English-language film is produced by the acclaimed filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur and his RVK Studios, the Icelandic production company behind the Netflix original series Katla and newly-announced Entrapped.
In 1909, Denmark’s Alabama Expedition led by Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was attempting to disprove the United States’ claim to North Eastern Greenland, a claim that was rooted in the idea that Greenland was broken up into two different pieces of land. Leaving their crew behind with the ship, Mikkelsen sleds across the ice with his inexperienced crew member, Iver Iversen (Joe Cole).
The two men succeed in finding the proof that Greenland is one island, but returning to the ship takes longer and is much harder than expected. Battling extreme hunger, fatigue and a polar bear attack, they finally arrive to find their ship crushed in the ice and the camp abandoned.
Hoping to be rescued, they now must fight to stay alive. As the days grow longer, their mental hold on reality starts to fade, breeding mistrust and paranoia, a dangerous cocktail in their fight for survival.
Against the Ice is a true story of friendship, love and the awe-inspiring power of companionship.
The film’s additional cast members include Charles Dance (The Crown) and Heida Reed (Poldark).
“Against the Ice has been a passion project for me from the very beginning. It combines a lot of themes that excite me: adventure, Greenland, companionship, loyalty and love. It is an intense exploration of two men, two opposites, trapped in an epic dangerous setting,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
“It is also a story of living under extreme pressure and circumstances, of constant struggle for survival, fighting off threats of extreme cold, lack of food, hungry polar bears and not least the frailty of the human mind. Peter Flinth sent me the book ‘Two against the ice’ by Ejnar Mikkelsen. I read it, fell in love with it and started adapting it together with Joe Derrick.”
He continued: “Together we set up our own banner: ill kippers. Against the Ice is our first project. Luck would have it that Netflix wanted to be the home for our film, which I will forever be grateful for.
“To be able to shoot this film with Peter Flinth directing and Baltasar Kormákur producing is and has been a dream scenario for me. I cannot wait to share Against the Ice with audiences everywhere.”
Baltasar Kormákur commented: “It was an honor when David Kosse asked me to join the team of Against the Ice and take the helm as the lead producer. The true story of Mikkelsen and Iversen grabbed my attention from the get go. A story of friendship through survival in the worst possible conditions, told with humor.
“It was a welcomed challenge to take this on and shoot it in the Icelandic highlands and in Greenland. Putting together a great team of talent both above and below the line; a crew of awesome people that were up for the challenge and ready to make the most out of the conditions given the extreme circumstances this movie deserved to be shot in.”
Claire Willats, Manager, International Original Film, EMEA, said: “We jumped on the chance to bring this incredibly gripping story to screens. Working with the talented Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Derrick, Peter Flinth and Baltasar Kormákur and seeing their creative vision take form as they brought this vivid story and its characters to life has been an exciting journey to be part of.
“Against the Ice will introduce our members to a story of survival, companionship and strength which we’re confident will engage and entertain.”
Principal photography of Against the Ice recently wrapped. The film is directed by Peter Flinth and produced by the internationally recognized and acclaimed Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur (Everest) together with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
The Director of Photography is Torben Forsberg, the sound recordist is Pétur Einarsson and the editor is Morten Hojbjerg (The Crown). The music is composed by Oscar Nominee Volker Bertelmann.