Lorne Balfe, the Grammy Award winning score composer of “Dark Knight,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” has joined the top notch key crew of “Stockholm Bloodbath,” Mikael Håfström’s epic adventure movie produced by Viaplay Studios.
Balfe, whose prestigious credits also include “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “His Dark Materials” and “Genius,” is creating the score for “Stockholm Bloodbath” in collaboration with Steffen Thum, an up-and-coming German composer.
The female-led epic adventure movie, which marks Viaplay’s second English-language film original following “Hilma,” lensed in Prague and Budapest, and wrapped shooting two weeks ago. The prominent cast includes Sophie Cookson (“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”), Claes Bang (“Dracula,””The Square”), Emily Beecham (“Cruella”) and Alba August (“Becoming Astrid”). Adam Pålsson (“Young Wallander”), Matias Varela (“Assassin’s Creed”), Ulrich Thomsen (“The Blacklist”) and Jakob Oftebro (“Black Crab”) complete the cast.
Set in 1520, “Stockholm Bloodbath” explores a dark chapter in Sweden’s history, which saw the infamous massacre of nearly 100 nobles and civilians in the Swedish capital.
Håfström, who is attending Goteborg Film Festival’s Nordic Film Market alongside his producer Helena Danielsson (‘Hilma’) at Viaplay Studios, said he was now fully starting post-production on the movie with his regular editor Richard Krantz. He said he had previously worked with Balfe on “Outside the Wire,” a movie starring Anthony Mackie, which also shot in Budapest.
“I’ve always been a fan of Lorne and the producers knew him. So I said to them, it doesn’t cost anything to ask him!” said Håfström.
“Lorne is Scottish and lives in England, but he’s a ‘Hollywood Scottish;’ he’s a man of the world, he’s got so little time in between “Mission: Impossible” and all those things he’s doing but I really think he enjoys doing things that may not be as big and can be a bit more personal,” said the filmmaker.
Balfe said he started discussing musical ideas early on with Håfström. “Despite the medieval setting of the film, the approach is very modern,” said Balfe, who has also worked with Hans Zimmer on many movies including “Genius.” “One thing we’re doing is experimenting with early, traditional instruments being used in unusual ways,” he continued.
The composer said he was “excited for what’s to come” and described the movie as a “great, multi-faceted story, allowing the music to move fluently between action, suspense and drama.” Balfe formed a duo with Thum on a number of big releases, including “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Black Widow.”
Håfström said music will play an important role in “Stockholm Bloodbath” to give it a modern edge. The script flirts a lot with contemporary times, in terms of the language, culture and politics, so we also wanted to emphasize that through the music,” he added.
The movie reteams Håfström and Danielsson who had previously worked on the Netflix original movie “Quick.”
“‘Quick’ was about the biggest legal scandal in modern times in Sweden, and you can say that that ‘Stockholm bloodbath’ is the biggest legal scandal in Swedish history, at least in medieval history for sure because 100 people were executed for heresy, a crime towards God,” said Håfström.
“This chapter marked the beginning of a new reign which created a completely new Sweden, a super power, but not many people outside Sweden know much about the Stockholm Bloodbath but we Swedes have it in our DNA,” said Danielsson.
The film follows Anne (Sophie Cookson) and her foster sister Freja (Alba August) as they seek revenge on the men who murdered their family at Anne’s wedding. Their quest leads them to Stockholm, where they are drawn into a ruthless political struggle between Sweden and Denmark that culminates in a mass execution, presided over by King Christian II of Denmark (Claes Bang), known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.
Danielsson said the cast was the “perfect combination of British and Scandinavian actors.” “It was a true ensemble film and all the characters had a lot of scenes where they collaborated.”
The producer pointed that the movie has different layers with a female-driven revenge story at its core, some political game play, and dark humour through the character of King Christian II of Denmark, played by Bang.
One of Scandinavia’s best known helmers, Håfström has been making movies in the U.S. and the U.K. for nearly two decades. His credits include the Oscar-nominated “Evil,” the Stephen King adaptation “1408” with John Cusack, “Escape Plan,” starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the award-winning film “Quick. He recently wrapped “Slingshot” which also starred Emily Beecham, Casey Affleck and Laurence Fishburne.
“Stockholm Bloodbath” was executive produced by Tomas Axelsson and Oskar Arulf at Viaplay Group. Nordisk Film are co-producers.
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