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‘Imitation Game’ Director Morten Tyldum to Direct ‘Ibelin’ on Disabled Gamer Mats Steen



Morten Tyldum, the Norwegian director of The Imitation Game, Headhunters and Passengershas signed on to direct Ibelinbased on the true story of Norwegian gamer Mats Steen.

Steen, who suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, died in 2014 at the age of 25. On the day of his funeral, held in a chapel in Oslo, people from all over Europe showed up to pay tribute to Mats, who they knew by his World of Warcraft handle Ibelin, giving heartfelt speeches about how he had enriched and changed their lives. On the surface, Mats Steen lived an isolated and lonely life alone with his parents. Online, he helped create and support a global community that transcended age, geography and time.

“Ever since hearing about Mats and meeting his family, this is a story I felt needed to be shared with the world,” Tyldum said in a statement.

Tyldum will direct Ibelin from a script by Kyle Killen (Hello). Philippe Rousselet and Fabrice Gianfermi of Vendôme Pictures, producers of Oscar-winner Coda, will produce alongside Tyldum and Guri Neby for their Neby-Tyldum shingle.

Tyldum is best known for his 2014 feature The Imitation Game, a biopic of WW2 code cracker and computer pioneer Alan Turing, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best director in 2014. Tyldum’s international breakthrough was the 2011 thriller Headhunters. starring Aksel Hennie (The Martian) and Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

The deals for Ibelin were brokered by Jackie Eckhouse and Emmanuelle Berdugo of Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo. for Vendôme; Michael Schenkman of Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher for Neby-Tyldum AS and Morten Tyldum; and Danny Greenberg (WME) for Kyle Killen. Tyldum is repped by CAA, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, Black Bear Management and Anonymous Content and Michael Schenkman. Killen is repped by WME, Syndicate Entertainment and Black Bear Management.

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