George Clooney and Grant Heslov are two of Hollywood’s most interesting producers. Under their Smokehouse Pictures banner they have given us great films such as The Ides Of March and last year’s best picture winner, Argo. Their latest, The Monuments Men, may not have been as well received as some of their other titles, but it looks like the duo is moving right onto their next project as there’s now word that Sony is negotiating the remake rights to the Norwegian thriller Pioneer, for Smokehouse to produce.
The original released last year in Norway and also played at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Set in the 1980s during the country’s oil boom, the film tells the story of Petter, a professional diver who is obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. With his brother Knut, he seems ready to take on this dangerous mission, but a sudden accident changes everything, leaving Petter in way over his head.
Clooney is not currently attached to direct, and there’s also no word of Heslov doing any writing, but those decisions could be forthcoming. The original was directed by Erik Skjoldbjaerg and starred Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang. At this time though it’s unclear if any of them will be returning in any capacity for the remake.
Although I’ve yet to see the Norwegian version, I think this sounds like it could be a fairly exciting film. Clooney and Heslov have a knack for politically-charged thrillers, and deep-sea diving hasn’t been explored too often, at least not in big-budget films. That combination alone should make for something very interesting, even if it doesn’t quite reach the same level that some of their other productions have.
What are your thoughts on Smokehouse taking on Pioneer? For those of you who have seen the Norwegian film, do you think it’s worthy of a remake? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.