Gard B. Eidsvold and Anders Danielsen Lie play the leading roles as Vidkun Quisling and the priest Peder Olsen respectively in director Erik Poppe’s new project about Quisling’s last days. The shooting starts this week and is based on until now little-known source material. Paradox, SF Studios’ Norwegian production company, is the producer of this psychological drama about the infamous Vidkun Quisling, the man responsible for one of the greatest betrayals during World War II. The project includes both a theatrical film and a TV series for TV2, that are expected to premiere in fall 2024. The film is distributed by SF Studios in the Nordics and REinvent handles international sales.
In the story of Quisling’s last days, we get a condensed insight into a psychological and claustrophobic battle about truth and lies, faith and doubt. The project has its origins in extensive research and unique source material. Among the sources is a diary written by the priest Peder Olsen from his days as Quisling’s confidante, from the arrest of Quisling until his execution on 24 October 1945, where Peder Olsen was one of Quisling’s two counselors in prison.
The project includes both a cinema film and a TV series for TV2, where the TV series goes further into the stories surrounding Quisling, especially about Maria Quisling and the dramatic May Days before peace was a fact.
About the film and TV series
Five years of occupation will end on 8 May 1945. The rebuilding of the nation can begin, but first the last chapter must be written. In a dark cell at Akershus fortress sits he who had committed the greatest betrayal of all; Vidkun Quisling. Now he must be held accountable for his actions and the atrocities that Nazi ideology led to. But first he has to meet spiritual leader and priest Peder Olsen.
“The film and the TV2 series will have a lot of material in common. At the same time, we will create two completely unique expressions and use the film and series format in the best possible way, which means that the audience gets something different and extra, and told in different ways. We are researching how to unleash different teams to both cut, sound and add music, and the project is a gigantic challenge that I can’t wait to take on”, says Erik Poppe.
An unknown story
Quisling stood his ground to the last. But Peder Olsen’s diary notes show that he fought a desperate battle to save his life and his legacy. In the meetings with his soul counsellor, he was pushed to the breaking point; Could he have been wrong about his life mission?
Little-known source material has provided an insight into a shocking chapter in Quisling’s history. By interpreting Peder Olsen’s diaries, the filmmakers have gained insight into what unfolded during Quisling’s last lifetime.
“What can we learn from the story about Quisling’s underlying motives and innermost thoughts? Did he ever realize what he had done, that he had been completely wrong? How far did his soul counsellor go in the search for answers or an admission of guilt? This is an unbelievably dramatic story that completely surprised me”, says Erik Poppe, who in the roles of Vidkun Quisling and Peder Olsen has brought along two of Norway’s leading actors, Gard Eidsvold and Anders Danielsen Lie.
“In a world with more and more anti-democratic leaders, it is important to try to unmask those who are perhaps the most dangerous of them all; the ideologically driven. One contribution to this is to get as close to them as possible. Gard and Anders have the qualities needed to do this, and thus bring to life the challenging narrative of what may have unfolded between the two men inside the prison”, says Poppe.
TV2 has secured the TV rights to the film and the TV series in Norway, which are expected to premiere in fall 2024.
“This is a unique collaboration where we both secure the rights to the film and get the opportunity to delve even deeper into the story and characters through the TV series. Paradox has gained extraordinary access to new, historical material and sources that will give us new and important perspectives on this central part of Norwegian history. We look forward to conveying this to our viewers”, says Kathrine Haldorsen, TV2’s program editor.
With films such as The Emigrants, The King’s Choice, Utøya – July 22, Per Fugelli – Siste resept, A Thousand Times Good Night and Troubled Water, Erik Poppe is one of Norway’s most experienced and distinguished directors. The film and the TV2 series are produced by Paradox by Finn Gjerdrum and Stein B. Kvae, who have produced all of Erik Poppe’s films. The film script was written by Anna Bache-Wiig, Siv Rajendram Eliassen and Ravn Lanesskog. Cinematographer is Jonas Alarik.
SF Studios handles theatrical distribution in the Nordics and Reinvent handles international sales.
For more information, please contact:
Jan Petter Dickman, Executive Producer, Paradox, firstname.lastname@example.org, +47 911 00 031
Malin Strihagen, Vice President Brand & Communications, SF Studios, email@example.com, +46 70 780 39 35
About SF Studios
SF Studios, established in 1919, is one of the world’s oldest film companies. Today SF Studios is the leading film studio in the Nordic region with its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and offices in Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and London. The company is producing and distributing feature films and TV series as well as providing the streaming service SF Anytime. Alongside its own production operations including Paradox, SF Studios owns the production companies FLX, Filmkameratene and Motion Blur, and is part of the leading Nordic media company Bonnier.
REinvent is a packaging, sales and financing studio all in one. REinvent International Sales has extensive knowledge of original trends and sales opportunities in both the Scandinavian and international markets and represents SF Studios’ international slate of films and TV series as well as works with other high profile European production companies.