'The O.C.'s Ben McKenzie to Star in THE SWIMMER
THE SWIMMER, Bifrost Pictures
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.
Wagner said, "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."
McKenzie commented, "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."
"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," said Black and Savitt
BiFrost recently announced that it will finance and produce actor Paul Bettany's directorial debut SHELTER, starring Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie. The film is scheduled to begin production at the end of this year.
BiFrost's current slate also includes THE GIRL WHO CONNED THE IVY LEAGUE, to be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and starring Amanda Seyfried, and the recently completed THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, directed by David Burris and starring Minka Kelly, Haley Joel Osment, and Noah Wyle and based on the award-winning novel by Ron Rash.