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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kiefer Sutherland to play the Leading Man in Melancholia

Kiefer Sutherland to play the leading man in Melancholia

Lars Von Trier Leaks Details "Antichrist" Follow-Up

Danish director Lars von Trier
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
By Nicolai Hartvig, ARTINFO France
Published: July 28, 2010

Courtesy Zentropa
"Melancholia" is shooting now in Skjollhättan, Sweden

PARIS—Lars von Trier offered a trademark few words to describe his new opus on Tuesday — but one of them stuck. Asked to describe the visual style of "Melancholia," which has begun shooting in the Swedish city of Trollh√§ttan and is due for release next year, the Danish director said: "Shit." Von Trier quickly added, “No, I hope not. But a little shittier than the one I did before.”

Few will forget that last work, "Antichrist," which shocked Cannesbefore earning female lead Charlotte Gainsbourg the festival's best actress award last year. The story of a couple secluding themselves in a forest cabin named "Eden" to overcome the grief over the death of their son — only to cryptically be possessed by nature’s evil and descend into madness and harrowing genital mutilation — was born in part from the difficult depression from which von Trier was suffering at the time.

The notoriously capricious director was mum about the plot for his self-scripted "Melancholia," which production company Zentropa has described as a psychological disaster movie with an end-of-the-world scenario. Still, not too many people will die, at least not on screen, according to the producers.

“I have a plan and nobody will ever find out what the plan is,” a playful von Trier told the audience of 60 frustrated — though hardly surprised — journalists who had traveled from across Europe to query him and his cast. “It’s a story about two sisters and a planet,” von Trier revealed. “Kirsten [Dunst] is getting married, but only for a short while, of course.”

The lucky on-screen husband will be Alexander Skarsgaard (perhaps best known from the HBO series "True Blood" and "Generation Kill"), whose father Stellan Skarsgaard also appears in "Melancholia." Kiefer Sutherland will play the leading man, joined by an intriguing cast of thespian talents and cult favorites, among them John Hurt, a returning Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling and Udo Kier.

Dunst is the latest Hollywood star invited to descend into von Trier’s convoluted universe, following the paths of Nicole Kidman ("Dogville") and Willem Dafoe ("Antichrist"). Penelope Cruz was reportedly also in talks with von Trier for the role before deciding to favor the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.

“I’m afraid of what I can say and can’t say,” noted a smiling Dunst. “You can say anything, come on,” replied von Trier. “We don’t rehearse," Dunst volunteered. "It keeps things really alive.”


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