Lars Bredo Rahbek of Denmark’s Nimbus Film to produce film about Norwegian nobleman and naval officer; Morten Tyldum already at work on rival project.

“If it comes to this, Tordenskiold is such a stout character that his shoulders should be broad enough to carry two films,” said Danish producer Lars Bredo Rahbek, of Denmark’s Nimbus Film, who announced today (Aug 14) that he will stage a $7.4 million (DKK 45 million) epic of Norwegian 18th century nobleman and naval officer Peter Wessel Tordenskiold (or Tordenskjold).

Norwegian producer John M Jacobsen, of Filmkameratene, is already in pre-production with a $12.2 million (NOK 70 million) historical drama of the sea hero, scripted by Mikael Olsen and Gert Duve Skovlund for Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters/Hodejegerne). The film is due to shoot from next summer in collaboration with Denmark’s Zentropa Entertainments.

The new Tordenskiold will be helmed by Icelandic director Dagur Kari from a screenplay by Norwegian author Erlend Loe, who has so far penned 14 features; Rahbek will produce for Nimbus, with Yngve Sæther (of Norway’s Motlys), and filming will start late 2013 on locations in North Europe.

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“I always thought you should never make films about a time before the camera was invented, but Loe’s script gives a new perspective to the genre,” said Kari.

“The straightjacket of the myth sometimes overshadows the real human being; we want to depict a man who is probably closer to ourselves than we think,” added Loe.

Tordenskiold served in the Royal Danish-Norwegian Navy during the Great Northern War (1700-1721), when Denmark-Norway, Saxony, Poland-Lithuania and Russia attacked the Swedish Empire. His greatest achievement was when in 1716 his light force destroyed the supply fleet of Sweden’s King Karl XII at the Battle of Dynekilden.