The Norwegian disaster movie The wave is the event film of the year, at least up here in the fjords. Let’s add to the hype by taking in these cool facts about an uncool scenario.
It is indeed a drawback that this movie is only time away from being gruesome reality. Åkneset is the real-life mountain in Stranda in Western Norway that geologists expect one day will fall into the fjord and create a massive tsunami that will destroy the local communities, including tourist towns such as Geiranger, Hellesylt and Tafjord. That is, if worst case scenario happens. The mountain may also silently crumble into the fjord in small pieces. Norwegians are very proud of their fjords and mountains, but as the 600 meter (1800 feet) crack in Åkneset expands by 2 – 15 cm each year, scientists are using their entire toolkit to find out how, when and with which consequences the 1500 meter high mountain will depart from the rest of the fjord. The expected Åkneset landslide, which nobody knows when will happen, will launch 40 million m3 of rocks into the fjord – that’s between 25 and 40 times more than the two biggest landslides in Norway in the previous century…
Some facts about the movie and its cast and crew:
- The film’s budget was 50 million kr (5.8 million euros or 6.4 million US dollars).
- The main actors are Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Jonas Oftebro, Eili Harboe, Herman Bernhoft, Edith Haagenrud-Sande.
- Director Roar Uthaug previously directed Cold Prey (2006), Julenatt i Blåfjell (2009) and Escape (2012). Uthaug directs commercials between feature films. Made his first film The Axe Killer in 8th grade and also a more more ambitious horror comedy in 1993, the 30 minute Snørr (meaning “snot”).
- The script is written by John Kåre Raake (Ragnarok) and Harald Rosenløw Eeg (Hawaii Oslo).
- The wave had one of the best opening weekends ever in Norway; more than 135.000 film fans bought tickets, which is the 3rd most successful weekend ever, beaten only by Solan og Ludvig – Jul i Flåklypa (2013) and Kon-Tiki (2012), but ahead of another major success, Max Manus (2008). The wave sold 30% more tickets than Jurassic World did on its opening weekend, and after one week in cinemas it had sold 242.000 tickets in total, which is 60.000 more tickets than what Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation sold in 5 weeks.
- The film opened in 180 of 245 cinemas across Norway.
- The film was shot on location in Geiranger, Norway and in studios in Romania.
- In one scene, 40.000 litres of water were poured down on a purpose built set. The shot could only be made once, and is supposedly the single most expensive scene ever filmed in Norway. It took six months to plan and several days to set up.
- Ane Dahl Torp, who plays a hotel manager and the scientist’s wife, has aquaphobia – fear of water – but still had to spend most of her days in or under water. She played against Kristoffer Joner (the geologist) in Comrade Pedersen (2006) and in Pax (2010) and was also in Dead Snow (2009).
- Kristoffer Joner has 44 film and TV credits to his name, including genre entries such as Dead Snow 2 (2014), Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder (2014), Hidden (2009), Next Door (2005) and the horror classic Dark Woods (2003). He directed the sci-fi short Cold and Dry in 2008. He is rumoured to star in the upcoming Morgan Kane western movie
- The film is based on real facts that both happened, and will happen again in the future.
- A reference to Uthaug’s first movie Cold Prey is seen for several seconds as a detail in the story.
- Before the movie was released, opinions were voiced about the movie affecting the local residents in a negative way, possibly fueling the real-life fear that inhabitants live with every day.
- The film’s digital effects took nearly a year to complete.
- The wave was sold to 105 countries before its release.
- The wave has been selected as Norway’s entry to the Best Foreign Movie category at the Academy Awards (the Oscars).
The blockbuster of the year is of course still screening in Norwegian cinemas, and overseas screenings and home video releases are still being planned.