Charles Dance, Peter Mullan Join Cast of Jo Nesbo Adaptation ‘The Hanging Sun’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Frederick Schmidt (“Angel Has Fallen”) and Raphael Vicas (“Grantchester”) are also boarding the production.
The Sky Original film is a U.K.-Italian co-production from Sky, ITV Studios’ Cattleya and Groenlandia. It will be broadcast on Sky in Italy, the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Austria.
The adaptation is written by Stefano Bises (“ZeroZeroZero,” “Gomorrah”) and directed by Emmy-nominated Francesco Carrozzini (“Franca: Chaos and Creation”).
“I am in the middle of filming and I could have not hoped for better. The cast is incredible,” Carrozzini told Variety .
“The Hanging Sun” is a noir thriller set in a part of Norway where religion dominates, the sun never sets, and local residents seem to be from a different era.
The film follows John — a man on the run because he has betrayed his powerful crime-lord father, Dad. To escape from his family, John heads north and takes refuge deep in the forest near an isolated village. The only thing standing between John and his destiny are Lea, a woman facing hardship with a great deal of strength, and her son Caleb, a curious, pure-hearted boy.
Mullan plays Dad, while Dance is playing Jacob, Lea’s father.
Other cast members include Alessandro Borghi (“On My Skin: The Last Seven Days of Stefano Cucchi”) as John, Jessica Brown Findlay (“Brave New World”) as Lea, and Sam Spruell (“Small Axe: Mangrove”) in the role of twins Aaron and Nicolas.
Carrozzini was introduced to Nesbø’s critically acclaimed book several years ago.
“I had just presented my documentary ‘Franca: Chaos and Creation’ in Venice and I started working with an agent, Steve Rabneau, who became a great friend,” says Carrozzini. “He introduced me to his wife Sylvie who represents Jo Nesbø and she gave me ‘Midnight Sun’ along with other books. I read it and understood right away I wanted to make it into a film because of the incredible setting and characters.”
“The Hanging Sun” is currently filming in Norway, in the towns of Ålesund and Fosnavåg.
“There is an enormous interest in adapting Nesbø’s work, a well-established catalogue of Nordic Noir that’s been translated into over 50 languages — the storytelling resonates across cultures,” Meghan Beaton, newly appointed film commissioner for Norway, told Variety .
“There are two Nesbø projects in production or pre-production in Norway alone: ‘The Hanging Sun’ and ‘The Devil’s Star.’ Norway has such a unique and atmospheric landscape, unparalleled light conditions, and in Nesbø’s work the dramatic scenery plays an important role. Working Title own the rights to all the Harry Hole books, so we’re looking forward to seeing how they are adapted further.”
Working Title’s “The Devil’s Star” was recently offered NOK 31.4 million ($3.6 million) in reimbursement through the Norwegian production incentive program.
Other Nesbø projects in the works include “London,” with Ben Stiller, for Lionsgate; HBO series “The Son,” with Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villenvue attached; and Amazon has just purchased the rights to “The Jealousy Man” story collection.
“The Hanging Sun” will release in cinemas and then premiere on Sky and streaming service Now TV.
NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling international sales on behalf of Sky Studios.