Submergence (film)

Submergence is a 2017 romantic thriller film directed by Wim Wenders, based on the novel with the same name by J. M. Ledgard.[1] The film stars Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy. The film premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[3] It received generally unfavorable reviews and was a box office bomb.

Submergence film poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWim Wenders
Written byErin Dignam
Based onSubmergence
by J.M. Ledgard
Produced byCameron Lamb
CinematographyBenoît Debie
Edited byToni Froschhammer
Music byFernando Velazquez
  • Backup Films
  • Lila 9th Productions
  • Morena Films
  • Waterstone Entertainment
Distributed by
Release date
  • September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) (TIFF)
  • February 2, 2018 (2018-02-02) (Spain)
  • April 13, 2018 (2018-04-13) (United States)
Running time
112 minutes
  • United States
  • France
  • Spain
Budget€15 million ($16.6 million)[1]
Box office$852,319[2]


In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a British engineer, James More, is held captive by Somali jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, bio-mathematician Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to their chance meeting and subsequent romance while on vacation in Normandy.



In November 2015, Alicia Vikander, and James McAvoy joined the cast of the film, with Wim Wenders directing the film, from a screenplay by Erin Dignam, based upon the novel by J.M Ledgard.[4][5] In January 2016, Embankment Films came on board to handle the international sales for the film.[6] In April 2016, Celyn Jones joined the cast of the film.[7]

Fernando Velazquez composed the film's score.[8]


Principal photography on the film began on 12 April 2016 in Berlin, Germany.[9][10] The film was also shot in the Faroe Islands,[11] Madrid and Toledo, Spain, as well as multiple locations in France (Dieppe, Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Mer, Bois des Moutiers residence at Varengeville-sur-Mer) and Djibouti.[12]


In May 2016, Mars Distribution and Antena 3 acquired distribution rights in France and Spain respectively.[13] The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 10 September 2017.[14] Shortly after, Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film.[15] It was released in the United States on 13 April 2018, in a limited release and through video on demand.[16]


Box officeEdit

Submergence grossed $0 in North America and a total worldwide of $852,319,[2] plus $106,879 with home video sales,[17] against a production budget of €15 million ($16.6 million).[1]

Critical receptionEdit

As of June 2020, the film holds a 23% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 53 reviews with an average rating of 4.27/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A slow-moving misfire, Submergence isn't as deep as it thinks it is — but still manages to drown its stars in a drama whose admirable ambitions remain almost entirely unfulfilled."[18] On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[19]

Matt Zoller-Seitz of gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, writing that "the actors and the filmmaking are seductive enough that Submergence isn't a chore to sit through, but it's not engrossing, either."[20] Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars and commented that "Submergence feels like a clumsy melange, a confused adaptation made by people who don't seem quite sure what they have on their hands.[21] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "More conventional than Wenders' best-loved work, it should manage to please some old fans while reaching — thanks to star power — younger moviegoers who've never heard of him."[22]


  1. ^ a b c "Wim Wenders shoots Submergence in Spain". Morena Films. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Submergence (2018)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (25 July 2017). "Toronto Film Festival 2017 Unveils Strong Slate". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (30 November 2015). "Alicia Vikander in Negotiations to Star in Wim Wenders' 'Submergence' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. ^ Busch, Anita (2 November 2015). "James McAvoy Joins Wim Wenders In 'Submergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  6. ^ Jaafar, Ali (28 January 2016). "Embankment Boards Alicia Vikander-James McAvoy Love Story 'Submergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  7. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (4 April 2016). "Leonor Varela Dons Animal Skins For 'The Solutrean'; Celyn Jones Joins 'Submergence'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  8. ^ filmmusicreporter (14 March 2017). "Fernando Velazquez Scoring Wim Wenders Submergence". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  9. ^ Barraclough, Leo (12 April 2016). "Wim Wenders Starts 'Submergence' Shoot in Berlin With James McAvoy, Alicia Vikander". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  10. ^ SSN Insider Staff (15 April 2016). "On the Set for 4/15/16: Idris Elba Starts Shooting 'The Dark Tower', James Cameron Rolls Cameras on 'Avatar 2', 'Fifty Shades Darker' Finishes Production". SSN Insider. TSS News. Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  11. ^ Whittaker, Richard (14 April 2018). "Wim Wenders Talks About Submergence". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  12. ^ Anderson, Ariston (1 August 2017). "Wim Wenders' 'Submergence' to Open San Sebastian Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ Kesslassy, Elsa (4 May 2016). "Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy's 'Submergence' Pre-Sold to More Than 30 Territories (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Submergence". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  15. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (14 November 2017). "Alicia Vikander-James McAvoy Film 'Submergence' Lands at Samuel Goldwyn Films (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  16. ^ Smith, Nigel (1 March 2018). "Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy Embark on a Globetrotting Romance in Submergence Trailer". People. Time. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Submergence (2018) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Submergence (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Submergence Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  20. ^ Zoller-Seitz, Matt (13 April 2018). "Submergence". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  21. ^ Lee, Benjamin (11 September 2017). "Submergence review – James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander drown in soggy romance". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  22. ^ DeFore, John (10 September 2017). "'Submergence': Film Review | TIFF 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 May 2019.

External linksEdit