Hunter Killer, the submarine caper starring Gerard Butler, doesn’t have any major surprises for end credits. Although there are no after credits scenes, the movie shows a submarine pushing through a choppy sea as the credits roll.
Be forewarned that there will be a few spoilers relating to the movie in this article.
However, there is a memorial to two people at the end of the movie: It’s dedicated to the memory of Michael Nyqvist, the great Swedish actor who plays the Russian sub commander in the movie, and producer John Thompson. What happened to Nyqvist and Thompson? How did they die?
Here’s what you need to know:
Michael Nyqvist Died of Lung Cancer
Although Gerard Butler does his best to turn his submarine captain Joe Glass into a Hollywood-style action hero willing to risk his men’s lives on a hunch, Michael Nyqvist brings the most gravitas to the film as the Russian Captain Andropov, unearthed with a couple of his men from a watery grave in a sabotaged sub.
The men’s mutual respect is slow to develop but forged out of a commonality of purpose; stripping allegiance to nation aside, these are just two old, weary sea dogs whose first loyalty is to their men and then the deep. They get each other, to put it plainly, so Butler correctly guesses that the Russian will do the right thing.
Fans of Nyqvist and his acting in Hunter Killer as the grizzled Russian captain will be sad to learn (if they didn’t know it already) that Michael Nyqvist died young – at the age of 56. He died on June 27, 2017, so he did not live long enough to see the film’s release.
Michael Nyqvist was not Russian; he was an accomplished Swedish actor known for his starring role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. According to a statement from Nyqvist’s family, the cause of death was lung cancer. He had been ill for some time, according to reports in Swedish media.
“On behalf of Michael Nyqvist’s representatives and family, it is with deep sadness that I can confirm that our beloved Michael, one of Sweden’s most respected and accomplished actors, has passed away quietly surrounded by family after a year long battle with lung cancer,” a rep said, according to Daily Variety.
The family’s statement continued: “Michael’s joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him. His charm and charisma were undeniable, and his love for the arts was felt by all who had the pleasure of working with him.”
After the movie came out, Gerard Butler posted a moving tribute to Nyqvist, writing, “To Michael Nyqvist, a great man who stole my heart, the young cast’s heart, as well as the hearts of audiences who watch this movie. You are missed in so many ways. Thank you for the brilliance you shared with us. It was an honour to work with you.”
Nyqvist’s most famous role internationally was as the character Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, a role assumed by Daniel Craig in the American versions of the adaptations of the novels. In America, audiences might remember him from his roles in John Wick alongside Keanu Reeves and in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with Tom Cruise. He was often cast in the villain in Hollywood films.
However, he had a long, award-winning career in Swedish theater and film as well. Other notable European roles were the “lead role in the Swedish romantic comedy-drama, The Guy in the Grave Next Door, directed by Kjell Sundval. A year later, Nyqvist starred in the Swedish film As It Is in Heaven, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the best foreign film competition,” reported the Hollywood Reporter.
Nyqvist is survived by his two children: Ellen, who was born in 1991, and Arthur, who was born in 1996. They are his children with his wife, Catharina Ehrnrooth, who also survives him.
John Thompson is not as well known as Nyqvist, but he earned a place alongside him at the end of Hunter Killer. Who was John Thompson and how did he die?
According to IMDB, Thompson died on January 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was leukemia. He was listed as a producer on Hunter Killer. He had a long list of Hollywood credits to his name, the site reports.
Deadline reports that John Thompson “brought The Expendables to movies as the head of production at Millennium Films” and was 71. He was also involved in other Gerard Butler movies, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and the forthcoming Angel Has Fallen, reported Deadline.