Filmkameratene, has unveiled on Monday the international cast attached to its first ever TV drama series, The Heavy Water War produced for NRK. Popular British actress Anna Friel (Limitless), Germany’s Christoph Bach, Denmark’s Maibritt Saerens (Happy Happy) have joined the string of up and coming Norwegian actors reunited by director Per-Olav Sørensen (The Half Brother).

The 6x45’ WW2 drama The Heavy Water War (Kampen om tungtvannet) written by Petter Rosenlund centres on the allies’ struggle to prevent Hitler from getting his hands on the atomic bomb and the Norwegian saboteurs that raided the Norsk Hydro plant in Vemork. The main role of scientist Leif Tronstad who helped build the Vemork production plant of heavy water before fleeing to England where he became a crucial member of the resistance, is played by rising star Espen Klouman Høiner (Reprise). The German physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics Werner Heisenberg is Christoph Bach (Best German TV actor in 2010) and the fictitious director of the plant Erik Henriksen is the versatile Norwegian actor Dennis Storhøi (Two Lives). Other roles are held by British actors Anna Friel and Pip Torrens (Tomorrow Never Dies) who play respectively an English captain and intelligence officer. 

Monday’s presentation to the Norwegian press was slightly overshadowed by two competing Hollywood projects announcement a few days earlier: Danny Boyle’s ten episode TV series Telemark to be produced by US cable channel FX, and Transformers’ director Michael Bay’s feature project, to be adapted from the yet unpublished book ‘Sabotage: a Genius Scientist, His Band of Young Commandos, and the Mission to Kill Hitler’s Super Bomb’.

Asked to comment about the conflicting projects, Filmkameratene’s founder and producer John M. Jacobsen told “We have been working on the project for the last 8-9 years. It is surprising that just within a week of us having a press conference two other projects suddenly pop up. But the US project is based on a book not even written yet and Danny Boyle’s TV series doesn’t have a script either. We will be the first to start filming in two weeks and we will be on TV screens when the other projects will –perhaps- start shooting.  As Danny Boyle said: ‘This is one of the world’s greatest stories’…This is why we were able to attract great talents for The Heavy Water War.”

Filmkameratene’s NOK75 million (€9.2m) TV drama is co-produced by Denmark’s Sebasto Film and the UK’s Headline Pictures in collaboration with NRK and Svensk Filmindustri, and support from the Norwegian Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Filming starts in Prague on October 28 and will then move to Norway. 

Front page photo: Espen Klouman Høiner, Anna Friel, Frank Kjosås
Story photo:  Producer John M. Jacobsen (left), director Per-Olav Sørensen (right) Photo: NRK