Eva Maria Daniels, Producer of ‘Hold the Dark’ and ‘Joe Bell,’ Dies at 43

She also worked on two features with Oren Moverman and Richard Gere

Eva Maria Daniels
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Eva Maria Daniels, the Icelandic producer who most recently executive-produced the Sydney Sweeney project “Reality,” has died. She was 43.

Daniels’ friend, filmmaker Börkur Sigthorsson, posted on Facebook that she “passed away last week in London after a long battle with cancer.” She was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic but by 2021 was opening up about her experience and noting that she was now cancer-free and happy to spend more time with her young child.

“Eva died on the same terms as she lived. She played her cards close to her chest. She didn’t seek recognition when she had success. She didn’t seek pity when she suffered. I will miss her friendship greatly, but mostly I will miss seeing what she would have done next,” Sigthorsson wrote on Facebook.

As a producer, Daniels worked on projects like “Hold the Dark,” Jeremy Saulnier’s thriller set in Alaska and starring Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård (you can watch it on Netflix); “Joe Bell,” a based-on-a-true-story drama directed by future “King Richard” filmmaker Reinaldo Marcus Green and starring Mark Wahlberg; and a pair of movies directed by Oren Moverman and starring Richard Gere – 2014’s “Time Out of Mind” and 2017 “The Dinner.” She also executive produced “What Maisie Knew,” a drama from “The Deep End” filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Skarsgård, that was based on Henry James’ 1897 novel of the same name.

“Reality,” her most recent project, was co-written and directed by Tina Satter and based on her play “Is This a Room.” It is based on an FBI transcript taken during an interview with Reality Winner, a former NSA translator who leaked sensitive government documents and who was sentenced to 63 months in prison. Sweeney plays Winner in the film, now on Max.

In 2021 Daniels had opened up an art gallery in Switzerland called Diller Daniels that was designed to highlight the work of Icelandic artists and was speaking openly about her cancer diagnosis, with a sunny outlook on the future.

Survivors include her husband, Moritz Diller, and young son, Henry.