For Stellan fans who are awaiting a US release of RETURN TO MONTAUK, there is no word yet on a distributor. The film was screened at the Belgrade Film Festival on March 4th and will be screened this week at the Istanbul Film Festival. As of this date, it is scheduled for a German release on May 11, 2017.

Here are a couple more interesting photos. The one on the left shows Stellan during filming in Babelsberg Studio in Germany and the right one was taken at Berlinale.


A new project for Stellan! Director/scriptwriter/producer Václav Marhoul starts shooting THE PAINTED BIRD in Volyn, Ukraine on March 23, 2017. The screenplay is an adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s bestseller and is a coproduction between the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland. The film stars Czech 9-year-old Petr Kotlár alongside Stellan, Udo Kier and Harvey Keitel. The international cast also includes Lech Dyblik (Poland), Nina Šunevič and Ala Sakalova (Ukraine), Aleksei Kravchenko (Russia) and Petr Vaněk and Jitka Čvančarová (Czech Republic).

Marhoul has said that he was intrigued by the story, and managed to get the license for the adaptation signed in 2010. He spent three years writing the script, producing seventeen different versions written in collaboration with eight playwrights, and the project received a Special Mention award from the ScripTeast programme at Cannes in 2013. He also told the press, "In accordance with the author's non-specific localization of the story described as 'somewhere in Eastern Europe', we decided not to use any of the existing languages for the film's dialogue. That's why an artificial language was created – the so called Neo-slavonian – and the dialogues, which altogether represent only some 10 minutes of the whole film, will be synchronized afterwards."

The synopsis reads, "Trying to protect their child during WWII, a Jewish couple send their son to a relative in the countryside somewhere in Eastern Europe. But the boy’s aunt dies unexpectedly and he is forced to set out on a lone journey through the hostile world governed by local rules, prejudices and superstitions. When the war ends, his fight for physical survival is replaced by a different kind of a fight."

With a budget of 5.9 million euros, the film will begin shooting on March 23. With 105 shooting days planned, the production will be split into six phases with filming taking place in Slovakia, in the Czech Republic and, for the final phase, in the Polish town of Świebodzice in June 2018. The budget of the project is €5.8 million and the final film should be unveiled in May 2019, before going on general release in Slovak and Czech cinemas in September 2019.

As previously reported, Stellan's film, IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (Kraftidioten), is being remade in an American version starring Liam Neeson. The revenge thriller will be called "Hard Powder". The synopsis reads, "A well-liked snowplow driver in a Colorado ski town discovers his son has been murdered. To get his revenge, he uses his special set of skills to take out the local drug cartel and its kingpin. Believe it or not, the director is Hans Petter Moland who directed the original film! Personally, I always prefer the international original to an American re-make. What comes to mind immediately is "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" even though our Swedish star was in the re-make with a top-notch performance. If only Stellan had been cast in the original with the awesome Michael Nyqvist!

After over two decades of delays, roadblocks, and production hiccups, Terry Gilliam's THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE has officially begun shooting. The film is based on the book, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, wherein an old man gets swept up in his romantic stories and goes insane, eventually trying to revive chivalry and knighthood. In this film, an advertising executive, played by Adam Driver, jumps back and forth in time between 21st-century London and 17th-century Spain, where Don Quixote, played by Jonathan Pryce, mistakes him for his compatriot, Sancho Panza. Olga Kurylenko and Stellan are also attached in supporting roles.  Production is taking place in Lisbon and Tomar. Scenes will also be filmed in Castilla-La Mancha and the Canary Islands. An 2018 release date has been set.


During the BIFF press conference for RETURN TO MONTAUK, writer-director Volker Schlöndorff  drew laughs when he recounted his pitch to Stellan. "I called him and he said, 'It won't sell lots of popcorn but it's just up my alley.'" Turning to Nina Hoss, Volker added, "You may not know this Nina, but when I asked Stellan who he could imagine in the role of Rebecca, he said, 'Nina Hoss'".

When Stellan was asked about his use of silence in the film and in his role in general, he explained, "I normally try to cut out as much of the dialogue as I can. I always tell my directors, 'Don't worry, I can express that with my eyes'".

On the look of the film, some of which was filmed on location in Montauk, NY, Volker said that while he had never worked with cinematographer Jérôme Alméras, we just seemed to like the same things: Faces and light - and no additional light. Montauk is known for the beauty of its light."

In another interview, Stellan was asked how he compared himself to both the director and his character and he said he was a very different person from them. He explained, "I know a lot of people who go back and ask what did I do wrong, why am I not happy, and so on. I am happy, so I don’t have to do that. But I know I’ve hurt people, I’ve made mistakes in my life, and make a note and I file it, and I go on. I have the same relationship to the past as I do with the future. I don’t deal with it, because I live in the present. But if you’re unhappy, you can do that. It’s a semi-philosophical but literally very beautiful thought."

Volker & Stellan share some yummy German pretzels at the Berlin Film Festival

He also gave his thoughts on acting - "I don’t feel comfortable playing anything. I find it extremely painful every time, but I really try to find things that I haven’t done before, and especially finding films that haven’t been made before, and this is really hard. Most of the scripts you see, you say, OK, I’ve seen that, and I’ve seen that, and I’ve seen that. They might change the clothes or the professions of the characters, but it’s the same f**king film again and again. Lars Von Trier said something interesting to me the other day. He said, “Oh Stellan, I know what kinds of films I’m doing now.” And I said, OK, so what kind is it? He told me he was doing the missing films. He wants to do the films that are missing in the history of cinema. And I think that’s really good. Modest as always!"


Berlinale today: press conference, photo call and premiere

For more photos, visit the BERLINALE GALLERY

Announcement came this week of Alexander's upcoming role in a Netflix adventure thriller called HOLD THE DARK, directed by Jeremy Saulnier. The cast includes Jeffrey Wright, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough and James Bloor. Based on the book by William Giraldi, the story is set in a remote Alaskan wilderness in which wolves have taken and killed children. A wolf-expert biologist is called in to investigate, but finds himself in between a secret-harboring mother who disappears and her husband who goes on a maniacal spree when he returns from Iraq and learns of his son's death. Jeffrey will play the biologist with James in the role of the detective. Riley and Alexander will play the parents. Filming will begin next month in Alberta, Canada.

Alexander is also slated to star in the $14M renaissance action film THE DWARF. Brad Anderson will direct from a screenplay based on Par Lagerkvist's novel of the same name. The action takes place during the 14th century. Can you guess who plays the dwarf? Yes! Who else! Peter Dinklage. He will play a fearless man  who proves his mettle and earns the trust of a prince (Skarsgard) after he conquers an all-time wrestling champion in a contest. He then pledges his undying loyalty and resorts to assassinations and subterfuge in his merciless quest to protect his new master. Alexander is presently starring in the current HBO crime drama "Big Little Lies".


It was 35 years ago that Stellan won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for "The Simple-Minded Murderer" at the Berlin International Film Festival. What a wonderful way to start a film career!

On Wednesday Stellan returns to Berlin for the premiere of his latest film, RETURN TO MONTAUK. Commenting on the director of the romantic drama, he says, "I have liked Schlöndorff since the 70's. He's a very talented man... I've wanted to work with him for a long time, and then this wonderful story came along."

Stellan says he had to learn an unusual amount of dialogue. He says, "My motto for choosing roles is I'd rather have as little text as possible, but here I gladly broke my own principles. It was fun to work with such material. It's a very literary text and it was a lot to learn. The script is based on a book by Max Frisch and he's a wonderful writer."

Describing the film, he says, "The story says something about how we experience life. I have many friends who are writers, and I see how they use their subjects to portray the world in their own way. Authors have the advantage that they can create stories beyond time and space while they do not need to lose touch with the real world. My character is part of a love story in which he has created an image of the relationship the two had that has grown in his imagination."

Filming locations included the title place - Montauk - at the tip of Long Island. Stellan says, "We were there just before the tourist season started, so there were not so many people. It is reminiscent of Skagen with a magic light, surrounded by the sea and long sandy beaches and seafood."

As far as future projects, he says he's been reading scripts. He's thinking of two TV series in the US and two feature films, but nothing has been done about them yet. Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" was supposed to have gone into production in October but had to be canceled when one of the financiers fell away. Stellan is still waiting word to hear if filming will begin next month.


One week from today RETURN TO MONTAUK will premiere at Berlinale! Stellan will be present at the world-famous festival. Check out the beautiful poster and screen stills on the film page.

The English-language film was partially shot on location in Montauk, Amagansett and New York last spring, while interior scenes were filmed in Berlin. Director Volker  Schlöndorff, who summers in Amagansett, co-wrote the screenplay with Irish author Colm Tóibín. The story takes its inspiration from Swiss writer Max Frisch’s novella "Montauk," but the author and the screenwriters agreed that it would be too difficult to translate to film because it was too autiobiographical and essayistic. Schlöndorff and Tóibín decided to use it as a model to tell their own story.

Though the screenplay diverges so much from the book, the setting was never subject to change. "Absolutely not," Schlöndorff said. "The main inspiration we retained from Max Frisch was this somewhat legendary 'Montauk,' a place or a name quite well known in Europe through this book, published in 1974 when Montauk was not yet as popular … more a poetical metaphor for a place at land’s end." The director has ambitions of bringing the film to the Hamptons International Film Festival, held annually in October.

There's a behind-the scenes video that you can access on at this link. It's in black and white and runs about 16 minutes. Unfortunately, much of it is in German, but I think Stellan fans will love it.


It has been announced that RETURN TO MONTAUK will screen in Competition at the 67th International Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) in what will also be a world premiere for the Volker Schloendorff-directed film. The festival, which runs from February 9–19, is one of the most important dates for the international film industry. The film centers on writer Max Zorn (Skarsgård), who comes to New York for the release of his book. His young wife Clara (Susanne Wolff) goes ahead to work on the U.S. release. In his novel, Max writes about the failure of love in this city 17 years ago. Almost by chance he meets Rebecca (Nina Hoss). She is now a successful lawyer, originally from East Germany and in New York for 20 years. They decide to spend a weekend together in Montauk, a fishing port on Long Island.


Stellan has won both a Guldbaggen and Silver Bear but now he has a new award added to his CV. He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lund. He gets the title because he "has a deeply reflective and thoughtful approach to his work as an actor and to his place in film production, and he personifies in an outstanding way the international character that has permeated and still characterizes the art of film and film work, both the practical and scientific."

Martin Degrell, communicator at Lund University, said Stellan was very happy and very honored and has agreed to participate in the conferment ceremony on June 2. Degrell added that it was gratifying that Stellan would attend since he's a very busy person.



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