Universal Pictures has stepped back in to finance Baltasar Kormakur’s Contraband starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale. Deadline reports that Universal balked when the price tag on the film was $40 million. Relativity Media stepped in, but encouraged the filmmakers to bring down the budget. They got the cost down to $30 million and “when Relativity blinked, Universal swooped back in.”
Contraband is a remake of Óskar Jónasson’s 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavik-Rotterdam, which starred Kormakur as “a former smuggler trying to go straight as a night guard. When his wife’s brother (who got him the job) botches a smuggling run, his life threatened and the protagonist is dragged in for one more job.” Reykjavik-Rotterdam won five Edda Awards (Iceland’s equivalent of the Oscar) including Best Director and Best Screenplay.