Is Against the Ice starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau based on a true story?

Against the Ice. Joe Cole as Iver P. Iversen in Against the Ice. Cr. Lilja Jonsdottir/Netflix © 2022.
Against the Ice. Joe Cole as Iver P. Iversen in Against the Ice. Cr. Lilja Jonsdottir/Netflix © 2022. /
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One of the newest Netflix movies is Against the Ice, starring Game of Thrones stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Charles Dance. Gangs of London and Skins actor Joe Cole also stars. Against the Ice is a historical survival thriller following an expedition to disprove the United States’ claim to North-Eastern Greenland. Released on March 2, the movie is directed by Danish filmmaker Peter Flinth and has quickly generated a lot of buzz on social media, mainly for the exciting cast of actors.

Coster-Waldau portrays Captain Ejnar Mikkelsen, tasked with leading his men to Greenland and proving that it was only one island by crossing it on foot and sled. During the harrowing journey, Mikkelsen must leave behind his crew with the ship and sled across the ice with an inexperienced crew member. Given the intensity of the subject matter, some fans are curious whether or not this survival story is based on a true story or if it’s a fictionalized tale.

Against the Ice
Against the Ice. Nikolaj Coster Waldau as Ejnar Mikkelsen in Against the Ice. Cr. Lilja Jonsdottir/Netflix © 2022. /

Is Against the Ice based on a true story?

Interestingly enough, Against the Ice is based on a true story. The film’s script adapted the story recounted by the real Ejnar Mikkelsen in his book Two Against the Ice, a classic tale of survival based in the arctic. Coster-Waldau actually penned the script alongside writer and producer Joe Derrick.

In real life, Mikkelsen was a Danish polar explorer best known for his expeditions to Greenland. He wrote several novels before his death in 1971 at the age of 90. Mikkelsen trekked across the ice alongside Iver Iverson (played by Joe Cole in the film). While Mikkelsen was an experienced captain, Iverson was an engineer with virtually little to no experience, but he volunteered anyway.

Adding to the realism of Against the Ice is that the cast and crew filmed with minimal green screen, opting instead to use the real arctic surroundings present in Iceland, which they used as a stand-in for Greenland. You can learn more about the process of making the film by checking out the Deadline exclusive with the filmmakers and stars.

Against the Ice is streaming now on Netflix. Have you watched it yet?

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