Cannes: 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' Helmer Boards 'Daniel'

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Niels Arden Oplev

Niels Arden Oplev will direct the true story of Danish photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen, who was kidnapped by ISIS and imprisoned with American journalist James Foley.

Niels Arden Oplev, director of the Scandinavian film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and, more recently, Dead Man Down and Flatliners, is returning to Europe for his next project: Daniel, the true story of the ISIS kidnapping of Danish photographer Daniel Rye Ottosen.

Ottosen, a freelance war photographer, was captured by the Islamic terrorist group on May 18, 2013, and held prisoner for 13 months. His cellmates included acclaimed journalist James Foley, who was later publicly beheaded by ISIS.

Esben Smed (Follow the Money) will play Ottosen alongside an Nordic all-star cast, including Anders W. Berthelsen, Sofie Torp, Christiane Gjellerup Koch, Jens Jorn Spottag and Andrea Gadegaard. 

Oplev said he is still casting the Foley role, which is said to be a major supporting part.

“During their joint captivity, Foley really became Ottosen's mentor, and he restored his hope in humanity,” the director told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that Foley's “heroic self-sacrifice” shows “another side of America that we desperately need now.”

The film is based on The ISIS Hostage: One Man's True Story of 13 Months in Captivity, Ottosen's memoir as told to Danish Middle East reporting veteran Puk Damsgaard. Anders Thomas Jensen, whose credits include the screenplay for Susanne Bier's Oscar-winning In a Better World and Mads Mikkelsen starrer The Salvation, adapted the book for the screen. Shooting is set to begin later this year.