Baltasar Kormákur is an actor, producer and director whose work spans theater, movies and television. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, he graduated as an actor from Iceland’s National Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. He was immediately signed on by the National Theatre of Iceland, where he worked as one of the leading young performing artists until 1997. During the last two years of his assignment he also directed several ambitious works, after having produced and directed highly popular, independent stage productions alongside his projects with the National Theatre.
In 2000, he wrote, directed, acted in and produced the feature film “101 Reykjavik,” which became an international hit and earned the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Subsequently, Variety selected him as one of the “10 Directors to Watch,” along with Alejandro González Iñárritu, Lukas Moodysson, Christopher Nolan and other newcomers at the time. Soon after, Kormákur started his own production company, Sögn ehf and since then has maintained his focus on feature film writing, producing, and directing. His films “101 Reykjavik”, “The Sea,” “A Little Trip To Heaven,” “Jar City” and “White Night Wedding” have all been very successful in Iceland, and won numerous international awards. Kormákur’s “The Deep,” which eerily captures the tragic real-life story of the lone survivor of a capsized fishing boat off the frigid Icelandic coast, premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and went on to become Iceland’s Oscar nominee and was shortlisted (one of 9 films) for the foreign language Academy Award. It opened in Iceland on September 21, 2012 and took in over 50% of the country’s box office receipts that weekend and earned a record number of Edda Awards, 11 in all, including Best Film of the Year, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Kormákur also has directed features in the United States, including “Inhale,” an independent film produced by the LA based 26 Films, starring Dermot Mulroney, Diane Kruger and Sam Shepard, “Contraband,” starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, and Kate Beckinsale, which took first place at the US box office during its opening weekend, early January 2012. Universal Pictures released “Contraband,” which was a remake of Oskar Johansson’s “Reykjavik Rotterdam,” that starred Kormákur and he produced with Agnes Johansen through his Icelandic production company, along with Working Title Films.
Kormákur’s latest film is the thriller “2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. It was released on August 14, 2013 and again took 1st place at the US box office on the opening week-end.
Other projects include the HBO pilot “The Missionary,” a spy thriller set in Eastern Germany before the fall of the Wall, “Everest,” the cautionary tale and real life adventure on the mountain in 1996 when eight climbers died in the span of two days, due to a series of horrific mishaps and bad decisions. Working Title Films will produce “Everest” with Kormákur and other co-producers. Also, “Viking,” a big budget action adventure set in the world of the famed Norse warriors, which will film in Iceland. Kormákur optioned Iceland’s beloved, Nobel Prize-winning book Independent People to develop as a feature film and will produce the American remake of “Jar City” along with CEO of Lava Bear Films, David Linde. He is also producing the Icelandic drama “FÚSI,” a project that acclaimed Icelandic filmmaker Dagur Kari will direct.
All of Kormákur’s films are made under his production company, which recently opened a television arm and partnered with Dadi Einarsson and the Icelandic VFX company Framestore. All future projects will be launched under a new label; RVK Studios.
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