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.
"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.
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.