Alexander Payne signed on to direct an adaptation of Karl Ove Knausgaard‘s travel articles My Saga over three and a half years ago. Various reasons led to the project frequently being pushed aside, but the film is finally heading into production, and Payne has found his leading man. Mads Mikkelsen is in advanced talks for the main role.
Mikkelsen will play a Danish journalist who takes a road trip with his teenage daughter across the U.S. as he writes a story for a newspaper.
The protagonist will obviously be based on Knausgaard, a Norwegian author who traced the Vikings’ historic trek through the Northern U.S. in two lengthy articles published in the New York Times Magazine. He was joined on his comedic, often absurd journey by photographer Peter van Agtmael.
Netflix will finance and release the film, which Erlend Lee has penned the script to. The film is currently untitled, and is scheduled for an autumn 2020 release. Netflix won a bidding war for the project, and is hoping it could be an awards contender.
Payne had been prepping dark comedy The Menu with Emma Stone and Ralph Fiennes, but that project hit an unknown but significant bump in the road. He’s no longer attached according to multiple outlets.
Payne is a two-time Oscar winner best known for Sideways, Election, and The Descendants, but his last movie, Downsizing, underperformed critically and commercially. It seems like he’s returning to smaller fare with this Netflix movie.
Mikkelsen recently turned in a powerhouse performance in Joe Penna‘s survival drama, Arctic, and should be a great fit for a similar yet more light-hearted role. The film begins shooting next month in Sweden, Denmark and the U.S.