A new, international Hamlet is in the works
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- CANNES 2017: British director Ken McMullen has included Mikkel Boe Følsgaard in a star-studded cast for a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s 1600 tragedy
Danish actor Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, who won a Silver Bear at Berlin for his performance in Danish director Nikolaj Arcel’s A Royal Affair [+see also:
interview: Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
interview: Nikolaj Arcel
film profile] (2012), and who plays in Danish director Peter Schønau Fog’s You Disappear [+see also:
interview: Peter Schønau Fog
film profile], which is screening at the Cannes Film Market, is set to play Hamlet in British director Ken McMullen’s Hamlet Revenant, a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s 1600 tragedy.
At Cannes yesterday, leading Danish international sales agency TrustNordisk announced that it has picked up the French Albatros Films production, which also sees the involvement of Germany’s Twenty Twenty Vision and ZDF, Italy’s Filmexport Group and Denmark’s Sequoia Pictures, and which will shoot from the second half of 2017.
As the Danish prince in Elsinore, Følsgaard will be joined by a star-studded cast consisting of British actor Ian McKellen, Ireland’s Gabriel Byrne, US-Danish actress Connie Nielsen, France’s Lambert Wilson and Dominique Pinon, with Danish newcomer Maria Boda as Ophelia. The film’s producers include Jacques Driencourt, Thanassis Karathanos and Martin Hampel.
In his new version, McMullen (also a professor of film studies at London’s Kingston University and an artist, whose installations have been exhibited worldwide, and who has more than 20 features and documentaries to his credit) will place Hamlet “amidst treasonous political upheavals, family crises, sexual tensions and ambiguous friendships – a vortex of revenge, doubt and madness”.
He intends to make “an intense motion picture with a haunting and atmospheric visual aesthetic, which brings to the surface the violence and destructive instincts that haunt the human psyche”. Since British actor Laurence Olivier in his own 1948 classic, Hamlet has been portrayed on the big screen by, among others, Richard Burton (1964), Quentin Crisp (1976), Mel Gibson (1990), Ethan Hawke (2000) and Kenneth Branagh (1996).
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