Against the Ice Receives Half a Billion in Production Rebate

Still shot from 'Against the Ice'

The State Treasury reimbursed ISK 500,000,000 [$3.58 million; €3.58 million] in production costs for Against the Ice, an historical survival epic produced for Netflix by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur. RÚV reports that this is one of the largest film and television production reimbursements that the government has ever made—on par with the ISK 500,000,000 received by Fast 8 in 2017.

Two other productions, the TV series Washington Black and Stella Blomkvist, also received substantial reimbursements: ISK 217 million [$1.55 million; €1.55 million] and ISK 170 million [$1.22 million; €1.22 million], respectively.

See Also: True Detective Series Will Be Largest-Ever Foreign Investment in Icelandic Culture

All of these reimbursements pale in comparison, however, to the one that will be made for the production of the fourth season of HBO’s True Detective, which will film over nine months in Iceland with a budget of around ISK 9 billion [$64.8 million; €63.9 million]. Per the Icelandic Film Center’s reimbursement scheme, “Producers can apply for reimbursements from the State Treasury of 25% of the costs incurred in the production of films and television programs in Iceland, or 35% for production projects that meet given conditions.”

Based on a true story, Against the Ice is set in 1909 and follows two men’s trek across the Greenland ice cap to recover the records of the ill-fated Denmark expedition, which set out years before to chart the geography of Greenland. Beset by troubles of their own, the pair must survive in the Arctic while waiting for rescue that may never come. The film was directed by Peter Flinth, and stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) and Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders). The film was shot predominantly in Iceland, although some filming was done in Greenland as well.

Star Trek: Discovery Features Iceland’s Otherworldly Landscapes

Star Trek: Discovery

Iceland was a prominent filming location for the third season of CBS TV show Star Trek: Discovery. The season’s first episode begins with a crash landing on Hverfjall mountain in the country’s north. The producers chose Iceland’s otherworldly landscapes to portray the planet Hima in the year 3188. Vísir reported first.

Goðafoss waterfall, Kleivarvatn lake, and the Blue Lagoon are also pictured in the series’ third season. Shooting in Iceland took place last year and the production took advantage of the Icelandic state’s payback program, which reimburses 25% of the cost of TV and film production incurred in Iceland as an incentive to encourage both local and international filming.

“[W]e jumped to the future, and so we wanted a place that looked very different,” executive producer Alex Kurtzman told TrekCore of the filming location. “I’ve wanted to shoot in Iceland for a really long time, so we looked at a bunch of different options and Iceland turned out to be doable – so we did it!”

Star Trek: Discovery is not the first series to use Iceland to depict other planets. Interstellar (2014) used Iceland’s Svínafellsjökull glacier and other locations to depict two different planets. Star Wars films have also cast Iceland in the role of another planet, including Star Wars: Episode VII and Star Wars: Rogue One.

Watch the Star Trek: Discovery third season opening scene on Hverfjall.