TrustNordisk has boarded international sales rights of Zentropa’s new epic period drama KING’S LAND (working title) directed by award-winning Nikolaj Arcel (A ROYAL AFFAIR, 2012), who once again teams up with world-renowned actor Mads Mikkelsen.
Copenhagen, 25 May – After having lived and worked abroad for almost a decade, critically acclaimed director and screenwriter Nikolaj Arcel has now returned home to Europe and is ready to direct his first Danish film since A ROYAL AFFAIR (2012), which sold to about 80 countries, was nominated for an Academy Award® and had its world premiere at the 62nd Berlinale, where it won the Silver Bear for ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Actor’.
The director's new historic feature KING’S LAND (working title) will start shooting on 5 September 2022 in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic and is estimated to be Zentropa’s biggest feature film in years. An epic and grand Danish drama and an international co-production made for the global cinema and festival audience. The film has a budget of EUR 8M.
The film is produced by Louise Vesth (THE KINGDOM EXODUS, 2022; THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, 2018; MELANCHOLIA, 2011; NYMPHOMANIAC, 2013); the only producer in Denmark to have produced five Danish features within this decade, all selling more than 700,000 tickets locally.
Mads Mikkelsen reunites with Arcel
For the new project, internationally praised actor Mads Mikkelsen (FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE, 2022; ANOTHER ROUND, 2020) once again teams up with Arcel since their last collaboration in 2012 when he played the lead in A ROYAL AFFAIR. Mikkelsen will play the lead together with talented Danish actress Amanda Collin, who most recently starred in Ridley Scott’s HBO Max drama series RAISED BY WOLVES (2020-22) and A HORRIBLE WOMAN (2017).
Mads Mikkelsen comments:
‘Nikolaj Arcel and I had a magnificent collaboration during A ROYAL AFFAIR, and I am beyond excited to be working with him once again. 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. Besides, it is a thrilling story and quite an adventure.’
The new project is scripted by Arcel together with critically acclaimed Danish screenwriter and director Anders Thomas Jensen (RIDERS OF JUSTICE, 2020) and is based on the Danish bestseller ‘Kaptajnen og Ann Barbara’ (translated ‘The Captain and Ann Barbara’) from 2020.
Arcel’s screen adaptation will be a gripping drama about the conquest of the Danish heath. About unremitting nature, big dreams and even bigger sacrifices. About revenge and discipline, love and loss. A story of a proud and uncompromising man and the woman who becomes his ally in the fight against evil, death and perdition.
‘With KING’S LAND, we will make a breath-taking, modern and epic film that embraces the darkness, humour, powerlessness, blood, sweat and madness of the story and that gets close to the indefatigable pioneers of the heath and their enemies.’
Massive interest within the industry
With a world-famous cast, an award-winning team behind the film and a captivating strong story, the film has already pre-sold to Germany (Koch Films), France (The Jokers Films), Benelux (September Films) and Hungary (Vertigo Media), underlining the immense attention that the film has already received from the industry.
Managing Director of TrustNordisk, Susan Wendt, comments on the acquisition:
‘We are proud to represent this highly-anticipated new feature from Zentropa featuring a international stellar cast and created by an equally treasured team off screen. Having already pre-sold to major territories, we are convinced that this will be a project in very high demand among buyers and festivals.’
In the mid-1700s, Danish King Frederik 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 the King’s decree. The heath meant certain death – a godforsaken place haunted by ravenous wolves, highwaymen, and a brutal and unforgiving nature.
But in the late summer of 1755, a lone soldier by the name of Ludvig Kahlen rode into the heath in a stubborn pursuit of a lifelong dream, determined to reach his goal: The heath would either bring him the wealth and honour he had long seeked… or get the better of him.
Produced by Zentropa Entertainments ApS in co-production with Zentropa Berlin GmbH, Zentropa Sweden AB in cooperation with TV2 Denmark, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, SVT, Koch Films in co-production with Film i Väst with support from Danish Film Institute Markedsordningen, Eurimages, Den Vestdanske Filmpulje, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Czech Film Fund and Swedish Film Institute. Developed by the Creative Europe Media Programme – Media of the European Union. Distribution through Nordisk Film. International sales through TrustNordisk.
Expected local release in autumn 2023.
Script available for interested buyers.