Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English remake of Benedikt Erlingsson’s Icelandic Woman at War, per Deadline.
Something of a socially conscious eco-drama, Woman at War is Iceland’s submission for 2019’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“This movie thrilled me beyond words,” Foster said of the original film in a statement. “I am so excited to helm a new American imagining of this relevant, beautiful, inspiring story.”
Foster will take on the role of Halla (originally played by Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a middle-aged music teacher with a secret. Fighting back (sometimes, by means of unlawful tactics) against the aluminum industry that has been wrecking the environment, Halla is being hunted down by Icelandic government agents.
The criminal ecological activist is in the midst of her environmental campaign when she receives unexpected news: Her adoption application has been approved, and she has been offered a Ukrainian baby girl.
“The character of Halla is a warrior for the planet, a strong woman who risks it all to do the right thing,” Foster said of the role. “I can’t wait to play her. I’m always drawn to a bold and quirky mixture of humor and emotion. This one speaks for our time.”
Foster plans to relocate the film’s setting from Iceland to the American West.
Foster has previously directed four films, including Little Man Tate (1991), Home for the Holidays (1995), The Beaver (2001) and Money Monster (2016). Like Woman at War, Money Monster also centered on an unafraid and outraged, lawless individual fighting back against a corporate giant.
Woman at War premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the best script prize in the Critics’ Week section, amongst several other awards.
Erlingsson has been quoted describing Woman at War as an antagonist to Hollywood’s problematic conventions: “No misery, no violence, no death, not even a gun and no sex.”