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It was announced at the Cannes Film festival that a new film about the Kon-Tiki voyage is to be made. Now, immediately the alarm-bells start ringing, as it's so soon after Thor Heyerdahl's death. Fortunately, it's being made by Jeremy Thomas, who made 'The Last Emperor', so it should be a damn fine film.
Also, Thor ok'ed the project before his death, actually signing every page of the script!

So, it looks like we could be in for quite a treat!

Trader Woody

whatever happened to..? i googled and found nothing.

Hmmmmmmmm....fuck all, as far as I can see, but we live in hope, eh?

Trader Woody

Sorry to bump this old thread, but I figure people here would be interested to know that the project didn't die - it just languished for a very long time. It's currently in production, and the central cast was revealed to the press yesterday (at the Kon-Tiki museum, naturally). 2012 spring release in Norway.

The official website is at kontikifilmen.no. Not much there yet, besides a really cool teaser poster.

Thanks Sharkbait. The site is in Norsk, I hope the movie is in English

http://www.kontikifilmen.no

Love that photo! I have been into the "Forgotten Idol in the Jungle" concept ever since I discovered the drawings of Frederic Catherwood:

Here's an early concept for the BOT cover by Moritz R.:

...and my recent photographic interpretation of the concept:

TM

Nice!

I guess parts of the movie might be in English (pre-voyage stuff, most likely), but dialog aboard the raft is bound to be in Norwegian and Swedish. I guess you non-native speakers will just have to endure subtitles! :wink: The tag line on the teaser poster reads "The adventure begins", by the way.

Here's a news article (in English) with a bit more information and a photo of the principal cast.

PS: Lucas Vigor, I love your stuff on Soundcloud! Ucayali! in particular has been a favorite recently.

[ Edited by: sharkbait 2011-04-14 10:05 ]

Waitaminnit, Herman Watzinger is not being played by a German? :wink:

" ...and Anders Baasmo Christiansen, who will play Heyerdahl’s next-in-command, Herman Watzinger. The only Swede on board the Kon-Tiki, Bengt Danielsson, will be played by a Swedish actor, Gustaf Skarsgård, son of the internationally known actor Stellan Skarsgård."

I am glad that the story will include the Fatu Hiva part of Thor's life, that's where he first heard of TIKI, I wanna SEE that ! I never met the man, but I was gratified to hear that his assistant Donald Ryan showed him the BOT and he dug it. :) And Moritz got me this:

Man, Thor must have signed thousands of books in his lifetime!
And on this occasion, once more, my recent diorama of Eric October's great Kon-Tiki mug :) :

Oh, and I love the new cover image they came up with for the most recent re-issue of the book:

If that doesn't say "in search of Tiki..." !!!

Yay! Really looking forward to this. Glad that it's in Norwegian (I can read subtitles). Still haven't seen the original documentary. I see that the full length version is on DVD now.

Love Eric's book mug! What an awesome idea!

You can see the original film on You Tube..

http://youtu.be/gGooopCTmpg

And on this occasion, once more, my recent diorama of Eric October's great Kon-Tiki mug :) :

Awesoooome, Eric!!
ETR

How cool. Sad Thor is not "here" to be on the set.

On 2002-05-16 06:22, Trader Woody wrote:
It was announced at the Cannes Film festival that a new film about the Kon-Tiki voyage is to be made.

Happy Birthday, Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer (b. 1914)

The book relates a great adventure, but I don't recall any episodes that will make one of those violently exciting trailers Hollywood is so fond of. Think there were something to do with a storm, but how many shots of the brave little craft emerging from big waves can there be?

No one goes bonkers during the passage of the trip, the crew has all the food it needs, there were no shark attacks or secret saboteurs on board, etc. etc.

And sex, whadda about sex??

Definitely an art-house flick. La Verandah will see it, regardless.


A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.
-- Dorothy Parker

[ Edited by: Carmine Verandah 2011-04-17 22:18 ]

[ Edited by: Carmine Verandah 2011-04-17 22:19 ]

Here's a nice e-mail I got from Thor's ex-assistant Donald Ryan. The sense of adventure was different when he was young:

Dear friends and family of Thor:

Nine years ago our friend, Thor Heyerdahl, passed away on April 18th 2002. Yet another year goes by and we can take a moment to remember a unique individual on our planet. This year I am teaching an special class for first-year students at Pacific Lutheran University. The theme is "exploration and discovery" and Thor, of course, is a major topic. One of the books we are reading is "Kon-Tiki" and even though I have read the book many times since I was a young boy, it remains inspirational. Last summer, my own book, "Beneath the Sands of Egypt," was published by HarperCollins. Although much of the book is about my adventures as an archaeologist in Egypt, I included a chapter about my work with Thor, and his profound influence on my life. Here is an excerpt that describes my childhood impressions of Thor and his wonderful Kon-Tiki expedition:

Begin excerpt:

" Every day aboard the raft named “Kon-Tiki” was an adventure. Yesterday, Torstein found a strange unknown fish which hopped from the ocean onto his sleeping bag and we were still talking about the whale shark that passed below the raft last week, a terrifying, yet utterly fascinating, creature whose power and mass rivaled that of even our hefty collection of floating logs. Our friend from Peru, a parrot named Lorita, provided constant amusement as did the sprays of flying fish that would spontaneously erupt from the sea, a couple even landing in the expedition frying pan. Thor emerged from the cabin and glanced at the sky. A few seagulls flying above caused a smile to break across his face. “Land is near, young man!” he confidently assured me. As the youngest member of the Kon-Tiki expedition, Thor made sure I was comfortable, informed and busy. “Climb the mast and give us a report”, he encouraged as he took over my position at the oar. I gingerly climbed up toward the crossbar and blocked the sun with my hand over my eyes. Scanning the horizon, I caught a glimpse of something curious: a thin line of green that broke the monotony of the seemingly endless sea. “Land ahead, Thor!” I yelled exuberantly, "Land Ho!” Terra firma at last and more importantly, a successful test of a radical idea.

            “Donald!” called the female voice from nowhere.  “Donald!  Time for dinner!”  At that moment, the illusion was shattered and the Kon-Tiki  yet again reverted to a pile of crudely assembled lumber perched on a Southern California hillside, the ocean transforming into a sea of long green grass.  Thor and the crew all vanished as the sun began to set behind the avocado groves as I answered my mother’s call to return to the house.  It was a great voyage that would resume the next day and the day after it.  It all started with a little paperback book placed in a child’s Christmas stocking: a paperback called “Kon-Tiki” selected by a Santa who resembled my father, a man who knew the sea having served as an officer on a battleship and captained his own sailboat.  Why that book I can never answer; he had no doubt read it himself and thought it would be a fine treat for his bookish son.  He was right.  Thor Heyerdahl and his Kon-Tiki  lit in me the fire of adventure that has never been put out."  

End of excerpt.

Those of us who knew Thor well quickly learned that he viewed every day as an exciting new adventure to be lived with a sense of joy, compassion and wonder. As before, let us raise a toast to our fine friend: "To a life well-lived!," and may he serve as a continued inspiration for many years to come!

On 2011-04-13 15:55, bigbrotiki wrote:
Love that photo! I have been into the "Forgotten Idol in the Jungle" concept ever since I discovered the drawings of Frederic Catherwood:

Forgotten idol in outer space jungle
AMAZING STORIES Jan 1992

Construction of the raft is underway! A gallery of photos were posted on the movie's Facebook page today (they seem to be accessible for everyone - not just people registered on Facebook). Lots of bamboo... :)

On 2011-04-13 06:02, MadDogMike wrote:
Thanks Sharkbait. The site is in Norsk, I hope the movie is in English

http://www.kontikifilmen.no

Nice image. From home of the Pineapple to the South Pacific!

I don't know if this is the right place to post this, maybe it deserves it's own thread?
The article claims that Thor Heyerdahl's theory of South Americans in Polynesia was "partly right after all".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8582150/Kon-Tiki-explorer-was-partly-right-Polynesians-had-South-American-roots.html

Bosko

I never met the man, but I was gratified to hear that his assistant Donald Ryan showed him the BOT and he dug it. :) And Moritz got me this:

I completely missed this thread before - wow, what an autograph!

I did get to meet Thor Heyerdahl and shake his hand. He was the keynote speaker at a Pacific studies conference being held at my almer mater when I was finishing my doctoral thesis on the French Pacific. He was a lovely old guy - full of the joy of life. I don't remember much about his speech (which was a general summation of his life and work), apart from how he told us that some of the waves during the Kon-Tiki voyage were so high that the sharks were swimming ABOVE the Kon-Tiki.

CN

On 2002-05-16 06:22, Trader Woody wrote:
It was announced at the Cannes Film festival that a new film about the Kon-Tiki voyage is to be made. Now, immediately the alarm-bells start ringing, as it's so soon after Thor Heyerdahl's death. Fortunately, it's being made by Jeremy Thomas, who made 'The Last Emperor', so it should be a damn fine film.
Also, Thor ok'ed the project before his death, actually signing every page of the script!

So, it looks like we could be in for quite a treat!

Trader Woody

Signing every page?
Very hands on.
He must have felt very gratified.

But, did he get the royalties?

On 2011-04-13 06:02, MadDogMike wrote:
Thanks Sharkbait. The site is in Norsk, I hope the movie is in English

It seems you'll get your wish! Shooting has just started in Malta, and the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports today that they're shooting scenes simultanously for both a Norwegian and an international version of the movie, with the latter having all the dialog in English.

The first teaser trailer is now available on Facebook. It's only in Norwegian, without subtitles, but here's a quick translation for the curious:

Thor Heyerdahl's voice:
"I would never do something for the sake of adventure, but I've had so many adventures that I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid it, should another one come my way."

Telegram text:
Expedition under preparation. Big thing.
Need 5 adventurous people. Revolutionary theory.
Will drift across the Pacific on 9 balsa logs.
Join me?
-Thor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGPgmtarrYM

Two directors, interesting. Looks good. Wonder where the New York scenes got filmed, that language is all "Smoerrebroed Smoerrebroed!" to me :) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Te7SJz8q8c8&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXJZg5WT7EQ&feature=related

Gosh how I wish they would have hired me to shoot it!

And I want that script folder with the Kon-Tiki logo... I bet there will be some cool merchandise for the film.

HJ

Makes one want to tune up the guitar and pick out "Kon-Tiki" as done by The Shadows!

P

As a fan of filmmaking and Kon Tiki I'm really looking forward to this, whatever incarnation it takes. I'm not afraid of subtitles. It looks like the directors know what they're doing, so we can only hope it turns out well.

The first proper trailer is now online on Facebook (and here's an alternate link if you have an aversion to Facebook). This first trailer focuses on the people in the story, and not so much the raft itself. The plan is, from what I've heard, to focus on the raft in the second trailer, which will appear sometime next year.

@bigbrotiki: The New York scenes were shot in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Wait, did one of the guys work on the "Max Manus" film? I loved that movie!

It's a director duo - childhood friends Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg - and they've done all of their movies together. The first one was the admittedly not very good Bandidas (although I think it's a charming guilty pleasure). Max Manus was their second movie. Kon-Tiki will be their third.

HJ

Woo-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loving that trailer. It oozes, "period" and the understated "high adventure" which accompanies the educated BOLD!

Not to derail this thread, but until I watched "Hell on Wheels" on AMC I was not aware that a relative of Thor Heyerdahl was active in the film industry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Heyerdahl

"The Swede"

HJ

Further derailment:

"Hell On Wheels" was the name of the US Army 2nd Armored Division...

...a shoot 'em up movie "usurped" the title?

'Betcha three brigades of tanks, artillery and armoured personnel carriers "deserve" the title, more.

"Live tweeting" of historical events seem to be a new trend, and the Kon-Tiki marketing team have jumped on the bandwagon. Tweets "from" the Kon-Tiki expedition started this weekend.

NRK, Norway's national broadcaster, also reported this week that the vfx deadline was this Thursday, so the movie is nearing completion. Personally, I found the NRK article about the deadline somewhat dismaying, as the vfx crew took the time to proudly boast about their... great white shark. This is factually incorrect, not to mention highly improbable (the sharks they actually encountered were oceanic whitetips and a whale shark), so it has me a little worried. I hope they don't "improve" reality like that throughout the entire movie...

G

And here's a Youtube link: Kon-Tiki Trailer if you want to go straight to it. Looks really competently done, and well shot. Don't know if it will see a theatrical release near me, but I'll grab the blu-ray for sure. Apparently the whole voyage is either a flashback, or there are lots of flashbacks once the voyage is underway, so they can be sure to get in the required allotment of sex and violence. Works for me!

I saw a movie at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 2 weeks ago and they had a huge movie poster from the 1951 'Kon Tiki' movie displayed in their 2nd floor foyer. As expected it was in mint condition. They rotate the posters regularly so I'm not sure if it's still on display. It was cool to see. I would have taken a picture, but they have a strict no photos policy.

The second trailer that was promised many months ago was posted online today, and unlike the first one, this trailer focuses pretty much exclusively on the Kon-Tiki raft itself. Lots of sharks, too - some of them highly improbable and factually incorrect. The movie looks good, though!

F

I really hope this film plays somewhere in SoCal. Even if it cinematically embellishes some events, the trailer they cut looks great. And, I know a great trailer does not a great film make, but it sure inspires hope in this tikiphile!

For the last couple of weeks, the replica of Kon-Tiki that was built for the movie has been touring the southern coast of Norway. Each leg of the trip has been open to 10 paying members of the public, and I was lucky enough to get one of the spots this Sunday. I took a stack of photos, and I figured people here might enjoy them. :)

RB

Sharkbait, thanks for sharing! (Love the cognac bottle)

V

awesome ! Thanks for the picture. I'd love to be on that boat. Is it you who did the same beard as the Kon Tiki ?! (Always loved that logo)

Here's how to take a swim in style! :

Wow that is a beautiful photo. I need to get Dan over here to read this thread, Wendy

Virani, the guy with the beard is indeed me. It hadn't actually occured to me that it's sort of similar to that of the Kon-Tiki figure, though! Thanks for pointing that out. :)

The movie opens in Norway tomorrow, and the reviews have overwhelmingly been positive. At the same time there's been a lot of rumbling in the press about how the movie treats Herman Watzinger - his character is essentially made up and bears little resemblance to the real person (both physically and in terms of his character traits), much to the displeasure of his daughter. That seems to be the only negative, everything else looks good. There's no word on US distribution of it yet, but the first chance to see it on North American soil has been announced - the movie will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in september.

V

nothing in Europe (except Norway) until 2013, from what I read...

On 2012-08-23 15:03, sharkbait wrote:
....At the same time there's been a lot of rumbling in the press about how the movie treats Herman Watzinger - his character is essentially made up and bears little resemblance to the real person (both physically and in terms of his character traits), much to the displeasure of his daughter. That seems to be the only negative, everything else looks good....

I think we can expect quite a bit of artistic license. I didn't know for example Thor found the Kon-Tiki logo statue in the jungle! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=527Qd5EdkEY&feature=related

Thing is, the movie has to capture a whole new generation of viewers that was not around when the actual voyage and the ensuing Kon-Tiki fever happened. You do that by dramatizing events that might have never happened that way, or it will be boring for viewers with no reference and knowledge of the historic events. It's the movies.

S

Haha yeah, in the movie he find the Kon-Tiki statue in the jungle on Fatu Hiva. :) I liked the movie, but it's definitely a good idea to not expect it to adhere too closely to the actual persons, events and even, in some cases, reality (a school of great white sharks in the equatorial part of The Pacific? I don't think so!).

The filmmakers have certainly done their job in terms of capturing the imagination of people, however - 10 days after its release, it has already sold in excess of 400.000 tickets. That may sound like a small number, but keep in mind that Norway is a country of less than 5 million people, and the demand for the movie is far from slowing down yet. I look forward to its international release, though - it'll be interesting to hear what people outside Norway thinks of it!

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