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Scenes for next Star Wars film could be filmed in Norway

The biggest movie studios in Hollywood are reportedly eyeing Norwegian landmarks like Preikestolen, Trolltunga, Folgefonna and Lofoten as possible locations for new blockbuster films.

Scenes for next Star Wars film could be filmed in Norway
Could Preikestolen be the setting for an epic battle in the next Star Wars film? Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix
And among the productions that may be filmed in Norway is the most successful movie franchise of all time, Star Wars. 
 
In an interview with Aftenposten, producers Tor Arne Øvrebø and Per-Henry Borch said that Norway is currently in high demand from international studios looking to take advantage of the country’s beautiful nature. 
 
Borch said that Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, the fjord- side precipice that is one of Norway's most-visited tourist attractions, is of particular interest to studios. 
 
“The makers of an upcoming blockbuster movie from Disney-owned Lucas Film want to use Preikestolen, or another Preikestolen-like place, as a powerful location for the final stages of production. In June and July we conducted a round of visits with these folks, mainly in western Norway, said Borch. 
 
According to Aftenposten, the film in question is a new addition to the Star Wars series. It didn’t  explicitly state that it would be the much-anticipated 'Episode VIII', the follow-up to 2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ that is due to hit theatres in December 2017.
 
Given the known Star Wars projects that are underway, it could also possibly be a stand-alone film that focuses on Han Solo and is due for a May 2018 release. 
 
In addition to the Lucas Film production, Øverbø and Borch said that executives from Marvel Studios have also recently been in Norway to scout locations. The producers didn’t name any specific titles, but Aftenposten speculated that they could be referring to 'Avengers: Infinity War', which is slated for a 2018 release. 
 
Earlier this year, the Hollywood films 'The Snowman' with Michael Fassbender and ‘Downsizing’ with Matt Damon were filmed in various Norwegian locations. 
 

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FILM

Better luck next year: Norway’s Oscar drought continues

Hopes that Norway would claim its first Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film were dashed when ‘Kongens nei’ (English title: The King’s Choice) was not among the nominees announced on Tuesday.

Better luck next year: Norway's Oscar drought continues
'Kongens Nei' got a 'nei' from the Oscar committee. Photo: Paradox Film
Director Erik Poppe’s film about King Haakon VII’s resistance to the Nazi invasion of Norway had survived the cut from 85 submissions to nine but was not among the five finalists revealed on Tuesday. 
 
Adding insult to injury, Norway's two Scandinavian neighbours Denmark and Sweden are among the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film with ‘Land of Mine' and ‘A Man Called Ove’, respectively. The other films that will vie for the award at the Oscars gala in Los Angeles next month are 'The Salesman' (Iran), 'Tanna' (Australia) and 'Toni Erdmann' (Germany).
 
 
‘Kongens nei’ was hoping to be just the sixth Norwegian nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film. The previous nominees were ‘Ni liv’ in 1957, ‘Veiviseren’ in 1987, ‘Søndagsengler’ in 1996, ‘Elling’ in 2001 and ‘Kon-Tiki’ in 2012. None of those managed to take home the Oscar, so there were high hopes that ‘Kongens nei’ could make Norwegian film history and end the country's Oscar drought. 
 
Instead, the best Norwegian film buffs can now hope for is that one of their neighbours claims the prize. The Danish entry ‘Land of Mine’ (Original title: Under Sanden) is about a group of German POWs who are made to clear Danish beaches of Nazi mines following the war. Swedish hopeful  'A Man Called Ove' (original title: En man som heter Ove) meanwhile tells the story of a Saab-driving curmudgeon who has his heart opened by a warm new neighbour.
 
The German entry ‘Toni Erdmann’ is also a clear favourite, with the comedy winning best film, director, actress, actor and screenwriter at the European Film Awards earlier this month. 
 
Some 720,000 Norwegians saw 'Kongens Nei' in theatres, making the war drama the biggest box office draw in what was the Norwegian film industry's best year in more than four decades
 
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