The Wrap: Mads Mikkelsen to Reunite With ‘A Royal Affair’ Director for Epic Period Drama ‘King’s Land’

By The Wrap / Brian Welk



Nikolaj Arcel is directing the film that will begin shooting in September in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Mads Mikkelsen will star in an epic period drama called “King’s Land” and is reuniting with the director of “A Royal Affair” Nikolaj Arcel, making it Arcel’s first film since “A Royal Affair” in 2012.

“King’s Land” (working title) is co-written by Arcel and Danish screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen (“Riders of Justice”) and is based on the Danish bestseller “The Captain and Ann Barbara” from 2020. And Mikkelsen will be joined in the cast by Amanda Collin, who stars in Ridley Scott’s HBO Max drama series “Raised By Wolves” and 2017’s “A Horrible Woman.”

Arcel’s screen adaptation will be a drama about the conquest of the Danish heath and is the story of a proud and uncompromising man and the woman who becomes his ally in the fight against evil, death and perdition. Here’s the full synopsis:

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.

Shooting is expected to begin in September in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic. And the film is expected to be released locally in Denmark in 2023.

Zentropa is producing the film with an estimated 8 million Euro budget and what is expected to be the Danish production company’s biggest film in years. TrustNordick has also boarded the film to handle international sales.

“King’s Land” is produced by Louise Vesth (“Melancholia,” “The Kingdom Exodus”), who is the only producer in Denmark to have produced five Danish features within this decade, all selling more than 700,000 tickets locally.

“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,” Mikkelsen said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” Arcel added.

Mikkelsen most recently starred in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” as evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald.  

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Film info

Film title







127 min