In 2008, writer Arnaldur Indriðason and writer/director Óskar Jónasson crafted the Nordic heistthriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam, developed and financed by the film’s star and its primary producer, Baltasar Kormákur. The thriller follows a security guard named Kristófer as he is reluctantly drawn back into the world of alcohol smuggling when he takes a job on a container ship that departs Reykjavik, Iceland, and heads to Rotterdam, Holland.
The film directed by Baltasar Kormákur, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, Lukas Haas, Diego Luna and J.K. Simmons. The film is a remake of the Icelandic 2009 film Reykjavík-Rotterdam which Kormákur starred in. It is set to be released on January 13, 2012 in the United States by Universal Pictures.
For Contraband, Kormákur employed the same casting technique he used during the years he made movies in his home country. Rather than choosing an actor by his or her looks, the director casts according to the performer’s personality. “I like to find the core of people,” he says. “The outer appearance is less important. What is the person? You try to figure that out and make that right for the character.”
Mark Wahlberg leads the cast of Contraband, a fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect. Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling — full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs — where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away.
Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), botches a drug deal for his ruthless boss, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), Chris is forced back into doing what he does best–running contraband–to settle Andy’s debt. Chris is a legendary smuggler and quickly assembles a crew with the help of his best friend, Sebastian (Ben Foster), to head to Panama and return with millions in counterfeit bills.
Things quickly fall apart and with only hours to reach the cash, Chris must use his rusty skills to successfully navigate a treacherous criminal network of brutal drug lords, cops and hit men before his wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and sons become their target.