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Hans Petter Moland Interview: Cold Pursuit

Back in 2014, the Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance, was released, earning international praise for its blend of action, black comedy, and realistic characters. Fast forward to today, and the film is being remade by Hollywood, as the Liam Neeson thriller, Cold Pursuit.

Unlike many remakes, this new version is being helmed by the same director of the original, Hans Petter Moland. While the setting has been updated to the United States (though the film was shot in Alberta, Canada), Cold Pursuit goes to great lengths to retain the feel and sensibilities of the original, and thus feels uniquely European in its sensibilities, which should come as a breath of fresh air in a world of homogeneous Hollywood blockbusters.

Related: Cold Pursuit Trailer

While promoting the film, director Hans Petter Moland spoke to us about adapting his own movie for an American setting, and getting a second chance at making scenes even better than they were in the original.

Hans Petter Moland Directing Cold Pursuit

What a good movie this is!

Thank you.

All those tonal shifts and plot twists, I really didn't know what was going to happen next. That sounds like a classic line, but it really definitely applies here. So, you adapted your own movie. I'm sure you've gotten this a lot today, but can you tell me a little bit about the filmmaking side of going to a Hollywood production? How is that different or more creative or less creative than the original?

Doing it on a bigger scale offers some new opportunities, obviously. You have more resources for certain things, I had the possibility of working with some world class actors. Not only Liam, but also other people; Laura (Dern), Emmy (Rossum), Tom Bateman, yeah. That, in itself, of course, is attractive, and offers some wonderful potential. But it's also a big investment; it's much more of a business. The original was made my us, just a little gang making a film, which has its own freedom, but you're just trying to make ends meet. Somebody goes and steals something from their grandmother's house to put on the wall or whatever. But at the end of the day, it's some people around the camera and that's where it happens.

Can you tell me about the cultural differences that come from adapting a European story and turning it into... When I was watching it, I was like, "This is such an Americana-fueled story," it felt like a Western. Tell me about that shift.

It is sort of a Western, you know? Or at least a playful way of playing around with the Western genre, you know? But getting to that, I think, when you adapt to a new culture, you also have to absorb the fundamental differences and sort of resonance that the culture has to the material. So, instead of having a Serbian and Albanian crew, which was really something that we were being playful with in the original, you had to go with something that was deeply American.

I think it works really well.

I'm really happy to hear that, actually.

Liam Neeson in Cold Pursuit

Were there any ideas or sequences that you had in your mind for the original that you just didn't have the production values to accomplish, that you were finally able to return to in this movie?

I think there's, in particular, a couple of scenes where White Bull and his crew comes to this hotel up in the Rockies. In the original, we never had the chance to really explore that to the fullest potential. Same with the hang gliding, I think, is much better in this film. I think it's great music. I think that has evolved and gotten to a different level, in a way. Also, it partially had to do with the fact that they're indigenous people on their own land.

More: Liam Neeson Interview – Cold Pursuit

Key Release Dates
  • Cold Pursuit (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019
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