Deadline: Mads Mikkelsen Reunites With ‘A Royal Affair’ Director Nikolaj Arcel For Danish Historical Drama ‘King’s Land’

By Deadline / Diana Lodderhose



Mads Mikkelsen is set to star in a new period drama King’s Land (working title) which will reunite the prolific Danish actor with A Royal Affair director Nikolaj Arcel.

The €8M ($8.5M) historic feature, which is produced by Zentropa and will be shopped internationally by TrustNordisk, is penned by Arcel with Anders Thomas (Riders Of Justice) and is based on the 2020 Danish bestelling book The Captain And Ann Barbara.

It’s set in the mid-1700s, when Danish King Fredirik V declared that the wild heath of Jutland should be tamed, cultivated and colonized so that civilization could spread and new taxes be generated for the royal house. However, no one dared to follow his decree for the heath meant certain death and was considered a place haunted by ravenous wolves, highwaymen and brutal and unforgiving nature. By 1755, lone solder Ludvig Kahlen rold into the heath in a stubborn pursuit of a lifelong dream, determined to reach his goal: The heath would either bring him wealth and honor or would get the better of him.

King’s Land is expected to begin shooting on September 5 in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic. The international co-production is produced by Louise Vesth (The House That Jack BuiltMelancholia) and has already sold to Germany (Koch Films), France (The Jokers Films), Benelux (September Films) and Hungary (Vertigo Media). Nordisk Film will distribute in the Nordics and it’s expected to release in Autumn 2023.

“Nikolaj Arcel and I had a magnificent collaboration during A Royal Affair and I am beyond excited to be working with him once again,” said Mikkelsen in a statement. “He has an awe-inspiring vision for the film and he and Anders Thomas have penned an amazing script. Its brutality and tenderness deeply moved me when I first read it. It’s an important and fascinating chapter in Danish history about to be adapted for the screen and carrying topics still relevant to this very day.”

Arcel adds, “With King’s Land we will make a breath-taking, modern and epic film that embraces the darkness, humor, powerlessness, blood, sweat and madness of the story that gets close to the indefatigable pioneers of the heath and their enemies.”


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Film info

Film title

KING'S LAND (working title)


Nikolaj Arcel


Historical drama


127 min