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Netflix has announced that it has adapted the critically-acclaimed Norwegian film War Sailor, one of Norway’s biggest theatrical hits from last year, into a limited series.

War Sailor
War Sailor — Photo Credit: Roxana Reiss

Written and directed by Gunnar Vikene (Vegas, Borderline, Pørni), War Sailor (Krigsseileren) is based on true stories of Norwegian merchant sailors and their families during and after World War II. The three-episode limited series, adapted from the film and including new and never-seen-before footage, stars Kristoffer Joner (The Wave, Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Pal Sverre Hagen (Kon-Tiki, Exit), and Ine Marie Wilmann (Troll, Furia).

Interestingly enough, the series adaptation of War Sailor was not an idea that came up after the film was made. Said writer-director Gunnar Vikene:

War Sailor was originally written both as a feature film and as a mini-series and I couldn’t really let go of the initial idea of ​​telling the story in both formats. When we were editing the feature film, we realized that a lot of the footage didn’t fit in the well-over two-hour-long feature film. Fortunately, Netflix accepted the challenge, and throughout the autumn we worked on making a three-hour mini-series – with several new scenes to be able to show the WHOLE story not just to the Norwegian public, but also the rest of the world.”

War Sailor follows three people, two of whom are Alfred Garnes (Kristoffer Joner) and Sigbjørn “Wally” Kvalen (Pal Sverre Hagen). Alfred, who recently became the father of a third child, and his friend, Wally, are working on a merchant ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when World War II breaks out. As unarmed civilians on the front lines of a war they never asked to join, they struggle for survival in a spiral of violence and death, where at any moment German submarines may attack the merchant vessels. The war sailors have one goal: to survive — and to return home.

The third person is Cecilia (Ine Marie Wilmann), Alfred’s wife. Now raising three children on her own in Bergen, she struggles through the war alone, not knowing whether she will ever see Alfred again. When British aircraft attempt to bomb the German submarine bunker in Bergen, they instead hit the primary school at Laksevåg and civilian homes at Nøstet, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. When news of this reaches Alfred and Wally in Canada, they wonder if they have anything left at home to return to.

Costars include Henrikke Lund-Olsen, Téa Grønner Joner, Siv Torin Knudsen Petersen (Aber Bergen), Armand Hannestad, Daniel Berg, Noah Nygård, Oskar Hallaråker Hellesøy, Leon Tobias Slettbakk, Alexandra Gjerpen (Norsemen), Arthur Hakalathi (Home for Christmas), Karl Vidar Lende (Mammon), Mats Holm (The Machinery), Henrik Fammestad, Thor Brekkeflat (Aber Bergen), Nils Ove Sørvik, Odd Gunnar Sørvik, Emir Hvidsten Hindic, Joakim Visnes, and Daniel Frikstad (Wisting).

The limited series War Sailor launches globally on Wednesday, April 5 Sunday, April 2, exclusively on Netflix. (You can set a reminder for it now.)


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War Sailor: Netflix Adapts Critically-Acclaimed Norwegian Film into Limited Series
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