Cannes: Constantin Takes Harald Zwart's 'The 12 Man' for German-Speaking Europe (Exclusive)

Geir Hartly Andreassen
'The 12th Man'

Jonathan Rhys Meyers co-stars in the WWII drama about Norwegian resistance hero Jan Baalsrud.

Constantin Film has snatched up all German-speaking rights, as well as all rights in Switzerland, for The 12th Man, a WWII action drama from Karate Kid director Harold Zwart.

The film is a different take on the war drama, telling the true tale of survival of Jan Baalsrud, the only one of a dozen Norwegian resistance fighters to escape capture, and execution, by the Nazis. Jonathan Rhys Meyers co-stars as German commander Kurt Stage in a cast of Scandinavian stars, including Thomas Gullestad as Baalsrud.

“The resistance managed to turn something that started as a disaster into a huge success by tricking the enormous German war machine and helping Baalsrud escape,” says Zwart, “and this is as much a tale of survival as it is a war film: I mean this man was caught in an avalanche, he had to amputate his own toes, in order to stop the gangrene.”

The 12th Man is also visually ambitious: one scene involved Zwart coordinating 1,000 reindeer. The film, which TrustNordisk is selling in Cannes, hits theaters in Scandinavia this Christmas via Nordisk Film.

Says Zwart: “A thousand reindeer and a few gangrene toes: it's pretty much the ideal Christmas movie.”