The perfect comedy for a night in with the family, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga tells the tale of two aspiring Icelandic musicians, Lars and Sigrit, who are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world’s biggest song competition – the Eurovision Song Contest – after an unfortunate accident wipes out the nation’s top performers. Their band, Fire Saga, finally have the chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.
If you aren’t too familiar with Eurovision, here’s a quick 101 on what the competition is all about and what to expect from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga..
What is the Eurovision Song Contest?
An annual festival that began in 1956, Eurovision is the most renowned rhythmic extravaganza that boasts an audience of 180 million. Completely unpredictable, the contest sees incredible performances that frequently have choreography, bizarre props, costumes and make-up. But there are also people who just sit and sing a lovely ballad. Each tune is an original composition, yet performers belt out bouncy pop, operatic arias and everything in between.
This fusion of influences and styles is what makes the Eurovision Song Contest such a hit – producing musical greats like ABBA, who won the contest in 1974 with their song ‘Waterloo’, and Celine Dion, who claimed victory for Switzerland in 1988.
Beyond competition, Eurovision celebrates the creation of music and community as the European Broadcasting Union formed the event as a way to reunite the continent after World War II. 2020 marked the first time the contest had to be cancelled in its 64 year history due to the global pandemic.
Beginnings of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Producer, co-screenwriter and star Will Ferrell has long loved the Eurovision experience – he was introduced to it by his Swedish wife and was immediately hooked. In 2014, the filmmaking team travelled to Copenhagen to watch the finals and learn more about the competition’s planning and execution.
Together with Emmy® award winning writer Andrew Steele, the writers crafted the film’s storyline around loveable misfits from the small fishing village of Húsavík, Iceland, who dream of triumphing on the world’s stage together.
Why Iceland? As of 2019, Iceland is the only Nordic country that is yet to win the contest.
can you expect to see in the film?
Will Ferrell is Lars Erickssong, an innocent but driven man-child, who has been experiencing arrested development since losing his mother at a young age. He gathered with friends and family around the television to watch the 1974 Eurovision finals where ABBA performed and found joy for the first time. In that moment he decides to dedicate his life to winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Iceland.
Sigrit Ericksdottir, played by the versatile Rachel McAdams, is an introvert who learns how to sing with Lars — an unexpected development, since she had previously never spoken. McAdams also learned to play the guitar and piano, threw herself into choreography and got all the songs down.
Beauty and the Beast’s Dan Stevens takes on the beast that is Alexander Lemtov, a character loosely inspired by past Russian Eurovision contestants, who has an operatic voice and is a ‘stranger to buttons’.
International songstress Demi Lovato also makes a few appearances in the film as the Icelandic pop superstar Katiana, the nation’s best contender.
Erick Erickssong, Lars’ father — is “the most handsome man in Iceland” — and is played by none other than former James Bond: Pierce Brosnan. A long-suffering fisherman, Erick can’t understand how he got stuck with an artistic son instead of a boat co-captain.
Irish host Graham Norton from The Graham Norton Show guest stars as himself!
the people behind the scenes responsible for amazing visuals
While the film features an impressive list of 12 original songs, it’s over the top stage performances take centre stage. Fire Saga’s ‘Double Trouble’ number on the Eurovision stage would not be the same without Lars descending onstage via an eight-ton hamster wheel. The gargantuan prop was inspired by a 2014 performance by the Ukrainian contestant, Mariya Yaremchuk.
Director David Dobkin also brought in renowned Emmy award winning choreographer, Tabitha Dumo from So You Think You Can Dance. The impressive list of performances includes a sequence with 35 dancers surrounded by a trampolining quartet.
The film’s three distinct environments: Iceland, the city hosting Eurovision and the contest, was built by production designer Paul Inglis who joined the project fresh off the set of Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker.
Experience the unique story that is Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, available now on Netflix.