Daniel Wagner's BiFrost Pictures has announced today that the company will finance and produce the feature The Swimmer, starring Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) and to be directed by Richard L. Fox. The film, written by Bard Ivar Engelsas, is an official selection of the U.S.- Norway Film Development Project founded in 2011 by Lisa G. Black of Garnet Girl, LLC and Brandi Savitt of Senza Pictures, in collaboration with the regional film funds of Norway.
The movie will also star two of Norway's celebrated actors, Agnes Kittelsen and Kristoffer Joner, who are playing supporting roles opposite McKenzie. Wagner is producing the project with Black and Savitt and their respective companies, along with Sweet Films AS of Norway. The Swimmer is scheduled to commence principal photography in Northern Norway in June 2014.
The film centers on an American extreme swimmer (McKenzie) who embarks on a mission to conquer one of the wildest rivers in Norway - his personal Mt. Everest. But his journey proves that his true conquest is far more daunting than his swim; as he is faced to confront his inner demons and reconcile his past.
Producer Daniel Wagner had this to say in a statement.
"BiFrost has been looking at European co-productions for some time now, but when I read Bard's script I immediately knew this was the one. It is a compelling look into the world of extreme swimming, but also a story about family and what is most important in life. We look forward to working with Lisa and Brandi as we bring this picture to audiences around the world."
Ben McKenzie had this to say in his own statement.
"It's a modern story, but timeless as well. Bard's script really captivated me: a tortured man risking it all in a battle against nature. It's themes evoke the spirit of Hemingway and London, and I couldn't be more excited to shoot in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Norway."
Producers Lisa G. Black and Brandi Savitt had this to say in a statement.
"We are thrilled to have found a partner in BiFrost who understands our innovative approach to international co-ventures, and our mission to bring compelling narratives from Norway to audiences globally."