The English-language film is a passion project for main actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who co-wrote the screenplay.
The film is based on the book ‘Two Against the Ice’ by Ejnar Mikkelsen.
The Game of Thrones star actor says the Danish director Peter Flinth (Arn the Knight Templar, War Below Zero) sent him Mikkelsen’s book and he ‘immediately fell in love with it’, asking writer Joe Derrick to work on the screen adaptation with him.
“Against the Ice has been a passion project for me from the very beginning,” he said. “It combines a lot of themes that excite me: adventure, Greenland, companionship, loyalty and love. It is an intense exploration of two men, two opposites, trapped in an epic dangerous setting. It is also a story of living under extreme pressure and circumstances, of a constant struggle for survival, fighting off threats of extreme cold, lack of food, hungry polar bears and not least the frailty of the human mind."
Set in 1909, the story follows Denmark’s Alabama Expedition led by Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), as he fights the United States’ claim to North Eastern Greenland, a claim that was rooted in the idea that Greenland was broken up into two different pieces of land. Leaving their crew behind with the ship, Mikkelsen sleds across the ice with his inexperienced crew member, Iver Iversen (Joe Cole). The two men succeed in finding the proof that Greenland is one island, but they struggle to stay alive, finding solace in their companionship.
Besides Coster-Waldau, the stellar cast comprises Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders), Charles Dance (The Crown) and Icelandic actress Heida Reed (Stella Blómkvist).
Top behind-the scene crew include DoP Torben Forsberg (Dicte-Crime Reporter), editor Morten Hojbjerg (The Crown, Nymphomaniac, The Legacy) and Oscar nominated music composer Volker Bertelmann.
The project is produced by Coster-Waldau and Baltasar Kormákur of RVK Studios for Netflix.
Kormákur said: “It was an honour when David Kosse [Netflix VP International Film] asked me to join the team of Against the Ice and take the helm as the lead producer. The true story of Mikkelsen and Iversen grabbed my attention from the get go. A story of friendship through survival in the worst possible conditions, told with humour. It was a welcomed challenge to take this on and shoot it in the Icelandic highlands and in Greenland."
Principal photography just wrapped and the film is set to premiere globally on Netflix in 2021.
RVK Studios has produced two series for the US streaming giant: Klatla and the newly announced Entrapped (Trapped season 3), the latter in collaboration with Iceland’s pubcaster RÚV and Germany’s ZDF.