Otzi the Iceman to Get Biopic Treatment

Iceman Otzi
Courtesy of Beta Cinema

The 5,300-year-old mummy has been the source of scientific speculation since his discovery in the Austrian Alps 25 years ago.

The world's oldest cold case is getting the movie treatment.

The death, likely murder, of Otzi the Iceman more than 5,000 years ago is being adapted for the screen.

German star Jurgen Vogel (The Wave) will play Otzi, the Alpine nomad whose life, and its untimely end, has been an obsession for archeologists since 1991, when his body was found, perfectly preserved, in a glazier in northern Austria. Austrian actress Susanne Wuest (Goodnight Mommy) will play the female lead.

Scientists have pored over Otzi's remains, sequencing his DNA (in the process finding living descendants in Austria) and speculating on the world he lived in. The evidence from his corpse has been dissected, CSI-style, to uncover everything from his health ailments (gallstones, hardened arteries) to Copper Age tattoos that some believe are an early example of acupuncture treatment, to a fresh arrow wound in his shoulder and a blow to his head that may have killed him.

Inspired by the science, director Felix Randau has written a fictional tale, with the working title Revenge – The Story of Iceman, of Otzi's final days. Franco Nero, Andre M. Hennicke, Violetta Schurawlow, Sabin Tambrea and Axel Stein co-star.

Jan Kruger is producing Iceman for German-based shingle Port Au Prince in cooperation with Maja Wieser Benedetti and Andreas Pichler of Italy's Echo Film, Oliver Schundler and Boris Ausserer of Lucky Bird Pictures and Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu and Bady Minck of Austria's Amour Fou. Andreas Eicher is executive producing.

Cologne-based virtual reality company Headtrip will produce a narrative VR feature to accompany the film, attempting to immerse viewers in Otzi's world.

Port au Prince will release Iceman in Germany, with Filmladen taking Austrian rights and Beta Cinema handling worldwide sales of the film.