Based upon true events this speculative action drama examines the suspicious circumstances surrounding the sinking of the public ferry ‘The Estonia’ and the subsequent loss of 852 lives. The story is unravelled as one of the survivors tries to find out what happened to his son.
Two nuclear warheads are stolen from an ex-Russian military base to be sold on the black market. The trucks are secretly loaded onto a civilian ferry bound for Stockholm. On board, Henrik and his son Max are celebrating Max’s birthday. When the ferry suddenly sinks Henrik and Max become separated. In the aftermath Henrik searches in vain for sign of Max.
Later, still grieving, Henrik looks for anyone who might tell him about Max’s final moments. He learns about a mysterious group of survivors rumoured to have been whisked away in secret and with the help of a journalist, peels back the layers of a conspiracy implicating many government agencies at many levels all around the world.
I was hired to write a political thriller surrounding the events before, during, and after the sinking of The Estonia based on the producer’s treatment. The story was an outgrowth of their documentary series about the tragedy, in hopes of gaining a wider appeal for their cause – to re-investigate the wreck. After several meetings in Berlin and Toronto, we had a strong screenplay, an action adventure that quite powerfully exposed the weaknesses in the official investigation.Jürgen Prochnow (The Da Vinci Code) was interested in the project from the outset and Greta Scacchi (The Player) agreed to portray the journalist based upon her reading the script. Donald Sutherland (JFK) also agreed to a cameo role. The screenplay helped raise interim financing, but delays and financial problems led to an American producer who attached a Los Angeles director, the producer’s brother. He rewrote it completely.