Rapper and TV personality Thomas Gullestad is set to play Jan Baalsrud in Harald Zwart’s The Twelfth Man (Den Tolvte Mann), a remake of the Oscar nominated Nine Lives (Ni Liv) based on the book We Die Alone by David Howarth.
Gullestad said to NRK: “It is a great honour to play Jan Baalsrud. He is one person that we should never forget.”
Arne Skouen’s 1957 film told the story of Jan Baalsrud, who was a member of the Norwegian resistance during World War II. In 1943, he was involved in an attempt to destroy a German air control tower. This mission was compromised when he and his associates, whilst seeking a trusted ally, made contact with a civilian who betrayed them to the Nazis.
The title of the new film refers to the fact that Baalsrud escaped to Sweden, whilst eleven members of his resistance group were interrogated, tortured and killed by the Germans. It will not be a direct remake because it will not only include Baalsrud’s perspective, but also that of his co-conspirators and the Germans.
Director Harald Zwart said: “This is a story that deserves to be told again. New generations need to know what our ancestors went through for us to have what we have.”
The Twelfth Man has been awarded 15 million by the Norwegian Film Institute for marketing purposes, and has a budget of 64 million. The film will mostly be shot in Tromsø, where the story took place, but filming begins in Oslo this April. It is expected to premiere in the autumn of 2017.