Forest Whitakerand Norway's Maria Bonnevie are heading the cast of Baltasar Kormakur's hotEnglish-language debut A Little Trip ToHeaven, which has become the biggest Icelandic film ever with its $8.5mbudget.

New sales outfitKatapult Film Sales has already pre-sold the project to A-Film (Benelux) andArtfree (Greece), and LA-based Icelandic producer Joni Sighvatsson is innegotiation with distributors from the Nordic region as well as the Nordic Film& TV Fund.

TheIcelandic-UK-Canadian co-production between Sighvartsson's Palomar Pictures andKormakur's Blue Eyes Productions is so far backed by the Icelandic Film Centre,the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund, private equity and it will benefit fromthe 12% reimbursement offered when shooting in Iceland.

Production kicksoff in August in Iceland and Nova Scotia, Canada, where Sighvartsson previouslyshot both K19: The Widowmaker and The Weight Of Water.

The story isinspired by Kormakur's own troubles with insurance companies after a fire onthe set of his acclaimed previous film The Sea got out of hand as well as alocal Icelandic story of two men who injured themselves by driving their caroff the cliffs three times before being exposed as frauds. "It is an absurdworld where the commercials promise you that you can pay for a place in Heaventhrough insurances, and actually benefit from your own death," Kormakurexplains. The psychological thriller, related to both Blood Simple and Barton Fink,follows an insurance agent (Whitaker) investigating a murder, which might bemight be fraud.