The Hollywood Reporter: Cannes: ‘Riders of Justice’ Director Anders Thomas Jensen Going ‘Back to Reality’

By The Hollywood Reporter / Scott Roxborough



The new film from the prolific Danish writer-director will be a dark comedy about a bank robber who, in order to recover his stolen loot, has to help his brother sort through his childhood trauma.

Prolific Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen (Riders of Justice, Adams Apples, Men & Chicken), is dipping back into his deep well of dark comedy for his upcoming film, Back to Reality.

The film is described as a drama/crime comedy mashup involving a bank robbery, Anker, who gets released after a jail stint for a heist from which the money was never recovered. The only one who knows where the loot is buried is Anker’s brother Manfred, but the shock of his childhood trauma has sent him fleeing to an alter ego who has no recollection of the money. Hoping to unlock Manfred’s memory, the brothers travel to their childhood home and start digging, physically and psychologically. Back to Reality is currently in preproduction and in the final phase of financing. 

No cast has been confirmed but Jensen is a frequent collaboration with Danish star Mads Mikkelsen, the baddie in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which had its world premiere in Cannes on Thursday night. Mikkelsen headlined Jensen’s last feature as a director, 2020’s Riders of Justice, and stars in Nikolaj Arcel’s upcoming historical drama The Bastard, which Jensen co-wrote.

Sisse Graum Jorgensen and Sidsel Hybschmann are producing Back to Reality for Zentropa in co-production with Film i Väst and Zentropa Sweden/Lizette Jonjic. Nordisk Film Distribution will release the film in Denmark, with TrustNordisk handling international sales.

In a separate announcement, Film i Väst unveiled The Quiet Ones, an upcoming action drama from Frederik Louis Hviid (2020’s Enforcement) inspired by a notorious, real-life bank robbery. Set in 2008, at the height of the European financial crisis, a group of Danish and European men plans the largest and most audacious robbery ever on Danish soil. The cast includes Danish actors Gustav Giese, Amanda Collin and French actor Reda Kateb. Hviid will direct from a script by Anders Frithiof August (The Fortunate Man, The Marco Effect).

Zentropa Entertainments will produce together with Film i Väst, Zentropa Sweden, Kazak Productions and Zentropa International France. Lead producers are Kasper Dissing and Lizette Jonjic of Oscar-winning Another Round, and Jean-Christophe Reymond, a producer of 2021 Cannes Palme d’Or-winner Titane.

Budgeted at $4.2 million (3.9 million euro), The Quiet Ones is set to begin shooting soon, with a Danish release planned for Fall 2024.

Producers Film i Väst presented a full slate of new Scandinavian productions at its annual Cannes breakfast meet Friday, including the period drama The Little Seamstress from Sweat director Magnus von Horn starring Trine Dyrholm (Queen of Hearts) and Vic Carmen Sonne (Godland); Laura, a contemporary drama about sexual boundaries and consensuality that will mark the feature debut of director Fanny Ovesen; John Skoog’s Redoubt starring Holy Motors actor Denis Lavant as a farmhand building a fortress to prepare for the apocalypse; and the documentary Ultras from Ragnhild Ekner, which explores the global culture of fanatic soccer supporters.

Film i Väst also presented two new Scandi series: Goran Kapetanović’s Stenbeck, a corporate biopic series on pioneering Swedish entrepreneur Jan Stenbeck, starring Jakob Oftebro (Kon-Tiki, Black Crab) as Stenbeck; and Iza & Alice from Love & Anarchy director Emma Bucht, about two artists from different ends of the pop music spectrum reluctantly forced by their manager into doing a joint tour.

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Film info

Film title

Back to Reality / The Quiet Ones


Anders Thomas Jensen / Frederik Louis Hviis


Comedy / Action Drama