European cinema is rich pickings for Hollywood directors.
American producers are always looking for material to turn into movies, so it's no surprise that they continually remake European hits. Recent examples include of course David Fincher's 2011 remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (based on the 2009 Swedish film), as well as smaller movies like Prince Avalanche (2011's Icelandic movie Either Way), the Steve Carell comedy Dinner for Schmucks (France's 1998 romp Le Diner de Cons) and the upcoming thriller Brick Mansions (2004's District 13, also from France).
George Clooney Had A Rare Misfire With 'The Monuments Men'
Now producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov have snapped up the rights to the hit Norwegian thriller Pioneer, which has just opened in the UK. A well-known story in Scandinavia, it's based on true events surrounding Norwegian and American divers whose health was damaged after working 400 metres below the ocean surface to lay an oil pipeline 40 years ago. After a long court battle, the European Court of Human Rights last year ruled that the Norwegian government was guilty of not providing adequate warnings about the risk.
"The plight of the divers is a very well-known story in this country," says the Norwegian film's producer Christian Fredrik Martin, who was in touch with Clooney's company from the time they started work on the film. "They came back to us last year when the film was released in Norway. Clooney and his fellow producers were attracted by the cinematic possibilities of the underwater world, I think, and also because it is the kind of nonfiction story their company has been interested in turning into films in the past."
There's no word yet on whether Clooney might star in or direct the remake.