Morten Tyldum to direct $12.2m historical drama, produced by Norway’s Filmkameratene with Denmark’s Zentropa

Morten Tyldum, the Norwegian film-maker behind Headhunters, is to direct historical drama Tordenskjold.

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The $12.2m film tells the story of eighteenth century nobleman and naval officer Peter Wessel Tordenskjold.

Born in Trondheim, Tordenskjold rose to the rank of vice admiral in the Royal Danish-Norwegian Navy and served during the Great Northern War. Killed in a duel in 1720 aged 29, Tordenskjold has been the subject of numerous books, plays and two previous films (in 1910 and 1942) and has lent his name to everything from streets and inns to warships, ferries and festivals in Norway and Denmark.

Norwegian veteran John M Jacobsen, whose recent credits include André Øvredal’s The Troll Hunter, will produce through his Filmkameratene, alongside Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments.

Jacobsen is concluding the financing while waiting for the final script from Mikael Olsen and Gert Duvende Skovlund. His intention is that a Norwegian actor would be cast in the title role, while 80% of the film will shoot in Danish.

“Sea battles do not come cheap, and this Master And Commander is truly international – it will shoot in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Germany and both the Russian Czar and the Royal British Navy are involved,” said Jacobsen, whose 2008 production of Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning’s Max Manus: Man Of War sold 1.2 million tickets in Norway.

Tyldum’s Headhunters, adapted from the Jo Nesbo book, was the biggest local film in Norway last year with over half a million admissions. It recently passed the £1m mark in the UK.