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'Kon-Tiki' to Hit Theaters in English-Language Version, Riding Tide of Scandinavian Film Popularity

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 7, 2013 at 7:00AM

With Norway's Oscar-nominated "Kon-Tiki" hitting theaters on April 19, the Weinstein Company is opting to release the film's English-language version stateside, to maximize interest and attempt to elevate the film from the subtitled ghetto that keeps most foreign titles' box office in check. As pointed out in Variety, the seafaring adventure film may be the first of the Academy's nominees to be shot scene-for-scene in two languages.
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"Kon-Tiki"
"Kon-Tiki"

With Norway's Oscar-nominated "Kon-Tiki" hitting theaters on April 19, the Weinstein Company is opting to release the film's English-language version stateside, to maximize interest and attempt to elevate the film from the subtitled ghetto that keeps most foreign titles' box office in check. As pointed out in Variety, the seafaring adventure film may be the first of the Academy's nominees to be shot scene-for-scene in two languages.

Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen

"Kon-Tiki" also has the benefit of the recent US tide of interest in Scandinavian titles. Noomi Rapace is now a household name thanks to the Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" films. The series segued her into roles in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus," "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows" and Brian De Palma's "Passion," while she stars opposite Colin Farrell in her "Dragon Tattoo" director Niels Arden Oplev's first English-language film "Dead Man Down," opening March 8.

Turning up at the "Dead Man Down" premiere in Hollywood last week were Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, the "Dragon Tattoo" screenwriters behind Denmark's "A Royal Affair," one of the hallowed five Foreign-Language nominations along with "Kon-Tiki," who also bagged an English-language deal. Meanwhile, Iceland's Baltasar Kormakur (Oscar-shortlisted "The Deep") has a Vikings project in the works. And on May 3, Sony Pictures Classics will open Oscar-winner Susanne Bier's latest, the Danish/English-language "Love Is All You Need," starring Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan as two lonely people who meet en route to their children's wedding in Italy. Another Danish film, "A Hijacking," a Somali pirate adventure that played well in Toronto, plays March 22 at New York's New Directors/New Films.

'Love is All You Need'
'Love is All You Need'


Meanwhile Magnolia Pictures keeps scooping up Scandinavian titles; why break their winning streak with them, from Norway's "Headhunters" to "Royal Affair"? They have another Mads Mikkelsen film coming up, "The Hunt," which won him the Palme d'Or for best actor in Cannes last May. In April, he stars in the title role of the new TV series, "Hannibal." (We talk to Mikkelsen here.)

Our TOH! review of "Kon-Tiki," as well as the film's trailer, is here.

This article is related to: News, Kon-Tiki, A Royal Affair, Dead Man Down, The Deep, Niels Arden Oplev, Baltasar Kormákur


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.