While for many in the English-speaking world the word “trolls” conjures up images of cute, long-haired animated characters singing in the voices of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, the mythical creature’s origins in Norse folktales are much darker and more terrifying.
Netflix’s new release Troll is precisely based on a much darker version of the creature, as one of the most authentically Scandinavian mythical trolls accidentally wakes up and runs amok in modern Norway.
Ahead of the film’s December 1 release, Christopher Meir of the Carlos III University of Madrid, a film academic working on a project dedicated to Netflix original movies, sat down with the film’s director, Roar Uthaug. , and the producer and production executive director of the film. business Motion blurEspen Horn and producer Kristian Strand Sinkerud to discuss what the film’s producers call the biggest-budget film in Scandinavian history.
Christopher Meir: Can you start by telling us a bit about the inspiration for the film and the long journey it took to get to our screens?
Espen’s Horn: Us [Motion Blur] I picked up the phone and called Roar because we are huge fans of his and we had a meeting with him and we asked him «if you could choose anything your heart desires, what project would you like to do?» he turned around and said:TrollSo we said «let’s do it». It’s his dream project, so we quickly said let’s do that movie together.
Kristian Strand Sinkerud: roar was ending tomb Raider. It was fantastic for us as producers that Roar came home to make a Norwegian film.
Uthaug roar: It’s an idea I’ve had for over 20 years, so it was really nice to finally get to make the movie. It was inspired by Norwegian folklore and fairy tales and I always wondered what would happen if one of the creatures from those fairy tales woke up today. How would the government and the army and everyone react? So that was kind of the basis of the idea.
KSS: As a national and international launch. Troll It is something very ingrained in Norway. We grew up with these troll fairy tales as kids, but also being able to make a troll film for the international market is really exciting for us.
Russia: I’m very happy that we were able to make the movie, not with the way that VFX has come in the last 20 years, it’s made it so much more spectacular today than it would have been when I first had the idea. We also did a lot of work on the script and of course there’s been a number of years where it’s just sitting in the drawer collecting dust and a couple of years ago the producers and I picked it up and hired the writer for the movie and started working on it. it and from then on it has gone pretty fast.
CM: At first, the film was set up to be financed independently and with the support of the Norwegian Film Institute, then Netflix came along. Why did you bring it to Netflix in particular?
KSS: Initially, we started developing this project in a traditional way by looking for a theatrical release, but when we met with Netflix and pitched it to them, they were so excited about it that we ultimately came to the conclusion that it should be a Netflix Original Movie. We went with it and we are super happy.
HEY: We have a close relationship with Netflix because we made the first Netflix Nordic Original Movie (Corpse) and the series postmortem. So we had a good ongoing dialogue with them. Initially, we had very good support from the Norwegian Film Institute, but what we quickly realized after discussions with Netflix is that we were able to go faster and better achieve the ambitions we had for the project with them.
KSS: Netflix really accepted our vision for the film and what’s lucky when you work with Netflix compared to traditional funding for Norwegian and Nordic films is that they can make the film better so ultimately Troll it’s become a much bigger movie than we were initially able to finance and obviously that’s something we really like.
Russia: Netflix was very supportive of my vision and it’s been a really wonderful experience working with them.
CM: Could you confirm that the film had an above average budget for Norway?
HEY: It is the biggest film ever made in Scandinavia and I mean «big» under various definitions. It’s nice to be able to sit here today and say that we were able to make the film based on the visions we had. We were able, for example, to make a large troll and mark it as a Norwegian troll and get the copyright to the troll.
It’s also nice to sit here today and say it’s a true Norwegian production. We put a lot of emphasis on using Norwegian filmmakers and suppliers or else reaching out to Swedes and Danes because we want to show the world that this is a Norwegian and Scandinavian production.
CM: And you see that money on the screen, the visual effects are really impressive. Can you tell us more about how they were made?
Russia: Firstly we had a Norwegian artist named Einar Martinsen design the troll and then Ghost, a VFX company in Denmark took his model, refined it and made it production ready. Since we wanted to keep the visual effects in Scandinavia, we split it between four different vendors because we don’t have anyone big enough to do everything we need to do. That is why there are several companies that did it.
A Norwegian company called Gimpville shot the troll walking through downtown Oslo.
CM: Did you use green screen for this?
Russia: Fortunately, we’ve come so far now that there are plenty of shots where you no longer need green screens. I wanted to shoot most of the movie on location, so we didn’t actually do any kind of stage work on this movie. When the actors interact with the troll, we had a small drone with a red light 45 meters up in the air that they had to pretend was a big scary troll, so it demanded a lot from the actors, but I think they pulled it off. wonderfully. .
CM: I agree, if we could change the tone and themes of the film, I thought it would be very interesting. I’ve seen your previous disaster movie. Wave and this seems to be in a similar vein, can you tell me why you are interested in this particular type of disaster, with social commentary on environmental issues?
Russia: I grew up watching Hollywood movies and those were the ones that inspired me to go into film, but I also try to bring European and Scandinavian styles, those kind of down-to-earth characters that you really care about and know. them before all hell breaks loose. Also, I try to inject a lot of heart into the film because you need to care about people and also, I think I like to give the audience a sense of joy and wonder.
CM: One of the things that caught my attention about the movie is that it’s really funny at times. I wonder if you could talk about the sense of humor you display in the movie?
Russia: I think I want the movie to feel like a roller coaster with parts of fear and parts light. Having humor is an important ingredient in moving the story forward and making the audience relax and enjoy themselves and not take the movie too seriously. In this day and age, that’s a nice escape from reality. I hope the movie can be that for people.
CM: Without revealing anything, the door seems to be left open at the end by a troll 2, is it something you are planning? Do you plan to build a franchise around this project?
Russia: Right now we’re focused on a big entertaining movie and let’s see what the response to that is like.
KSS: As filmmakers, you always have the ambition to make something that can last a little longer than a movie. Of course we have ambitions to do a sequel and maybe two sequels, but it all depends on how the audience responds to it. Troll.
HEY: Let’s put it this way: this has been a great collaboration with Roar and Netflix and we’d love to do it again.
Editorial Note: Roar Uthaug was interviewed separately from Kristian Strand Sinkerud and Espen Horn. The interviews were then edited together and their responses to similar questions combined.