Baltasar’s New Series Recreates Battle of Hastings in Iceland

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Baltasar Kormákur’s RVK Studios is collaborating with CBS Studios to produce King and Conqueror, a mediaeval series set in Britain. The ambitious project, which will feature the famous Battle of Hastings, will involve extensive preparations and filming in Heiðmörk, with a significant build and dismantling process.

King and Conqueror

Last week, it was reported that Baltasar Kormákur and his production company, RVK Studios, were set to create a mediaeval series with CBS Studios, centred around William the Conqueror and King Harold II of England.

Titled King and Conqueror, the series will feature James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the lead roles and will be filmed in Iceland, both in studios and around Reykjavik. Michael Robert Johnson, known for his work on the television series Sherlock Holmes, will write the series.

Read More: IR profile of Baltasar Kormákur

“This is one of the most extensive projects undertaken here and is particularly complex because it’s set in mediaeval Britain, mostly,” Baltasar told RÚV last week.

The filming period is scheduled from February to July next year. RVK Studios has applied for a filming permit in Garðabær for shooting in Heiðmörk, a conservation area on the outskirts of Reykjavík, popular for recreational activities. The company plans to construct a small village, the size of which is yet to be determined, on a gravel plain at Hjallaflatir in Heiðmörk.

Battle of Hastings

As noted by RÚV, the preparation time would span two to three months, with shooting lasting two weeks, followed by one to two weeks for dismantling. The parking area would not be accessible during the preparation, filming, and dismantling phases.

RVK Studios has also applied to film the famous Battle of Hastings on the fields at Hjallaflatir. Defensive walls would be erected, and the scene would depict 180 people fighting and between 50 to 70 horses. The preparation for this would take two to four weeks, filming would last five days, and dismantling would take a week.

Lindsey Martin, Vice President at CBS, described the series as innovative and featuring world-class actors in a recent interview with Deadline. “We are incredibly proud of what the production team has already achieved and can’t wait to see the final product on screen.”

“Uncertainty Phase” Declared Due to Risk of Forest Fires in South and West Iceland

heiðmörk fire 4 may 2021

The National Police Commissioner has declared an “uncertainty phase” due to risk of forest fires in South Iceland, West Iceland, and the Reykjavík capital area. The area stretches between Eyjafjöll to the south side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. A forest fire burned two square kilometres in Heiðmörk forest on May 4.

A notice from the Civil Protection Department stated that the three regions have been unseasonably dry in recent weeks and there is little precipitation in the forecast for the coming days, increasing the risk of brush or forest fires. At this stage, the department and stakeholders will begin the collaboration and coordination to increase monitoring, assessment, and research related to the risk.

The public is asked to be careful with open fires in the regions and other places where vegetation is dry. “It doesn’t take a lot of sparks to lead to a big blaze,” the notice states. Anyone who spots a brush or forest fire should call emergency line 112.

Heiðmörk Forest Fire Burns Two Square Kilometres

heiðmörk fire 4 may 2021

A brush fire has burned two square kilometres of Heiðmörk forest in the Reykjavík capital area, RÚV reports. The fire broke out between three and four yesterday afternoon and took firefighters nearly twelve hours to put out. The fire was difficult for fire crews to access as it was far from roads.

Sævar Hreiðarsson, a forest warden in Heiðmörk, stated that wardens had been through the area just before the fire broke out. “It’s just sad that our staff didn’t see this. They were there just half an hour, an hour before this happened,” he stated.

The planting of Heiðmörk began in the early 1950s and the forest celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. The area where the fire took place was planted around 20 years ago. Heiðmörk is a popular recreational area for residents of the capital area. “And unfortunately some are using disposable barbecues or are smoking and not being careful,” Sævar told reporters. “Now everything is very dry and ignites easily, there’s a lot of food for the fire now.”

The area has been monitored specifically due to the risk of forest fire in recent years. “But it’s such a big area and it’s difficult for us to monitor, and this happens very suddenly. We have managed to stop fires like this as they break out. The fire crews managed to help us with something two years ago. There were small fires then but thankfully not like this just now.”

Four Teenagers Arrested for Deprivation of Liberty and Assault

Four men under the age of twenty have been arrested on suspicion of deprivation of liberty and assault yesterday, RÚV reports. The teenagers brought a man to the Heiðmörk conservation area on Wednesday afternoon, just outside the city limits, beat him with a bat and attacked him with pepper spray. Afterwards, he was forced to wade into the cold water of Elliðavatn lake. The assault victim was taken by ambulance to the emergency ward for care, as his body temperature was low when responders arrived at the scene.

The teenagers were not put into custody. The police will not disclose whether the perpetrators knew the victim but are looking into if the case is connected to a drug-related settlement.

The Metropolitan Police received two notifications on Wednesday from people claiming to have been abducted and threatened. The other case involved a couple entering a car in Borgartún armed with a knife, forcing the driver to come with them so that they could steal his money and drugs. The police have a likely suspect and are currently searching for him.