Norwegian director’s drama, based on his own experiences as a war photographer, set to start shooting in October.

French actress Juliette Binoche, who won an Oscar for The English Patient and was nominated for Chocolat, will play the lead in Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s A Thousand Times Good Night, which will start principal photography on Oct 22.

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“I slept badly for a month until I could fully believe she had accepted the role,” Poppe told Norway’s VG, adding that he would announce the remaining international cast within 8-10 days. “There is hardly any actor in the world who is not eager to perform with her.”

Scripted with Harald Rosenløw Eeg, A Thousand Times Good Night (aka Grenade) is inspired by Poppe’s own experiences as a war photographer in the 1980s, although with a woman lead character, Rebekka, torn between the job and her family.

Mainly shot in Dublin and Morocco, with detours to Kenya and Kabul, Norwegian producer Finn Gjerdrum will produce the film for Paradox in collaboration with Ireland’s Newgrange Pictures and Zentropa International Sweden. The budget is $7m (NOK 40m).

Shot by Norwegian cinematographer John Christian Rosenlund, The Norwegian Film Institute supports the project as the first of three in a package from Gjerdrum and Poppe, whose most recent feature was Troubled Water (De usynlige) which concluded his Oslo trilogy.