Netflix is bringing the graphic novel Polar to life and the streaming service has announced the start of production on the movie. The announced comes out of left field, but represents yet another big project for Netflix as the company has been investing heavily in original content in recent years. This also represents an example of an increasing number of comic book adaptations outside of the Marvel and DC universes, as studios look to other publishers for stories to (hopefully) turn into successful franchises.
Netflix and Constantin Film, along with Bolt Pictures have teamed for the co-production, in association with Dark Horse Entertainment. Polar is based on the Dark Horse action noir graphic novel Polar: Came From the Cold, written by Victor Santos. The series made its debut in the world of Dark Horse Comics in 2012 and is both written and illustrated by Santos. The movie is set to be directed by Jonas Akerlund, who is known for his work on the cult classic Spun. His most recent movie, Lords of Chaos, recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. For what it's worth, even though the movie only has, as of this writing, five reviews counted, Lords of Chaos currently has a 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Polar centers on the world's top assassin, Duncan Vizla, aka The Black Kaiser, who is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger, faster, ruthless killers who will stop at nothing to have him silenced. Anyone else getting some John Wick vibes? The cast for the movie includes Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange), Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers), Katheryn Winnick (Vikings) and Matt Lucas (Alice In Wonderland).
As for Jonas Åkerlund, he's also worked on documentaries, concert films, music videos, commercials, and stage shows. Over the years, he's worked with big-name acts such as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Madonna, U2, Rammstein, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and Beyonce He's received Emmy and Grammy nominations for his work on Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade and won Grammys for his music films for Paul McCartney's Live Kisses, Madonna: The Confessions Tour Live From London, and Madonna: Ray of Light. Even though he may not be a household name, he's certainly accomplished.
Netflix has had issues with some of their big-budget productions as of late. While the movies seem to make their way to the streaming service just fine, movies like Bright, The Cloverfield Paradox and, most recently Mute, have suffered with critics. Hopefully Polar won't suffer the same fate. The movie is produced by Constantine Film's Robert Kulzer (Resident Evil), Jeremy Bolt (Death Race) and Hartley Gorenstein (Room) and executive produced by Constantin Film's Martin Moszkowicz, Mads Mikkelsen, and Dark Horse Entertainment's Keith Goldberg and Mike Richardson. The screenplay for Polar was written by Jayson Rothwell (Silent Night). The movie is currently shooting in Toronto and is set to arrive Netflix sometime in 2019.