‘Volcano’ Eco-Thriller Unites L.A.’s Upgrade Productions With Iceland’s Act 4 and Croatia’s Drugi Plan (EXCLUSIVE)

The aftermath of a deadly volcanic eruption will set the stage for a new eco-thriller between Los Angeles-based Upgrade Productions, Iceland’s Act 4 and Croatia’s Drugi Plan.

The eight-part series is produced by Act 4, the newly announced production company led by prominent Icelandic creatives, including “True Detective” actor Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and “Black Sands” producer Hörður Rúnarsson, and Croatia’s Drugi Plan, led by Nebojsa Taraba and Miodrag Sila (HBO’s “Success,” Netflix’s “The Paper”).

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Executive produced by Upgrade Productions, “Volcano” is based on an original idea by Taraba and Sila and written by Rúnarsson and Mateja Božičević (Prime Video’s “Carnival Row”). The mixed-language series (English, Icelandic, Croatian) will be shot in Iceland and Croatia, with production scheduled to start early next year.

After a crushing volcanic eruption devastates Iceland, a UN directive relocates the surviving residents to Croatia. “Volcano” follows the tensions that arise as these vastly different societies are forced to learn how to live together, survive cultural clashes and ultimately help each other.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Act 4 and Drugi Plan on ‘Volcano’ as we see this series not simply as a story about disaster, but an exploration of how people behave and treat each other under extraordinary circumstances. Hörður Rúnarsson and Mateja Božičević have crafted an incredibly compelling project that we’re excited to develop further together,” said Upgrade Productions’ head of series Caroline Kusser.

Founded by Jonathan Kier and Matt Brodlie, Upgrade has a partnership with Germany’s Constantin Film, and is capitalizing on the demand for local-language content worldwide as audiences become more global in their viewing habits. The company’s development slate includes the sci-fi thriller series “Ulterior” (Spain) starring Alba Flores and produced with Spain’s Morena Films, and “Untitled 1982 World Cup” (working title), an original Italian-language series set in a pivotal period for Italy in sports and politics, produced by the Italian production and distribution company Cloud 9 Film.

Their slate also includes the eight-part Japanese-language series “A True Novel,” written by acclaimed writer Riko Sakaguchi, an original horror thriller series co-produced with Spanish production and distribution companies DeAPlaneta and Minoria Absoluta; “About Sausages,” an original series from the popular Australian comedian Ryan Shelton; and “Sunny Side Up,” an original Hindi-language comedy series produced by the Mumbai-based production company Writeous Studios.

Elsewhere, set up earlier this year, Act 4 recently completed a financing round backed by an international group of investors. The financing was completed in December in cooperation with the Reykjavík-based law firm LMG. In addition to Ólafsson and Rúnarsson, the other two co-founders of Act 4 are Jónas Margeir Ingólfsson and Birkir Blær Ingólfsson.

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