Director Terry Gilliam has finally finished filming his long-gestating passion project THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE. The director has tried to make the film a whopping eight times in the past nineteen years, leading to it becoming one of the most infamous projects trapped in development hell. This latest attempt took years to get off the ground but finally started shooting earlier in 2017 with a star studded cast including Stellan. The fantasy-adventure-comedy film is scheduled for a 2018 release.

A teaser trailer (view here) has been released for BORG/ENROE, a film about one of the world's greatest tennis icons Björn Borg (Sverrir Gudnason) and his biggest rival, the young and talented John McEnroe (Shia LaBeouf) and their legendary duel during the 1980's Wimbledon tournament. Stellan stars as Lennart Bergelin, the coach who guided Borg to the top. Directed by Janus Metz Pedersen with a script by Ronnie Sandahl, the film will open in Norway and Sweden this September. There is still no US release date.


The latest round of Norwegian Film Institute funding has been announced with an exciting new film topping the list of projects receiving support. Hans Petter Moland is set to direct an adaptation of Per Petterson’s award-winning novel OUT STEALING HORSES with Stellan in the lead role. This will mark their 5th collaboration. The novel was published in 2003 and has been translated into 60 languages.  The story is set in 1999 and follows Trond (Skarsgård) who has moved to a remote house in the forest where he can grieve the death of his wife. His idyllic country retreat is disturbed when he meets a neighbor whom he knew back in the summer of 1948. That summer, his father and his first love both disappeared from his life. Budgeted at 4.1 million euros, production is set to start in February 2018. Moland is currently working on the English-language version of "In Order of Disappearance".

As previously reported back in January, Stellan received an honorary doctorate at Lund University on Friday. The ceremony called "promotion" was held in Latin in Lund Cathedral. The day was performed traditionally. When the doctorate candidates did a procession from University to the Cathedral where the ceremony was held, the cannonball sounded over the city. Wille's artillery regimented salute for every new doctor. Lund University emphasizes that Stellan has a "deeply reflective and thoughtful attitude toward his work as an actor and in his place in film production".

Stellan said, "I feel honestly honored." In a conversation in the LUX aula with  filmmakers Ann-Kristin Wallengren and Erik Hedling, he offered insights and stories from the film and the theater world. Wallengren praised him for his performance in the BBC "River" series because he is neither a good guy nor a bad guy. Stellan shared, "When it comes to portraying reality, one should strive to complicate it and shade it. If we do not think Hitler was human, how can we keep Hitler in check. We must be able to fully humanize the evil person to keep an eye on the evil in our hearts."

When he speaks of various directors, he mimics Ingmar Bergman, Bo Widerberg or Lars Von Trier, and there is laughter in the audience. As to his future in acting, he replied, "If I didn't think it was so much fun, I wouldn't do it anymore." When someone in the audience asks if he feels the same passion for acting as when he was young, he answers that it's the process that makes it such fun. He is less interested in the final product. In the end, he admits it's still "hard, and you're nervous and afraid all the time."

For a Swedish interview with Stellan at Lund University, click here.

RETURN TO MONTAUK will open in France on June 14 but there will be an advanced showing at the  Cinéma Louxor in Paris on June 6. Director Volker Schlöndorff and actress Nina Hoss will be in attendance. The film will open in Sweden on September 15. Here is the French poster and a few new photos:


Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is set to lead the voice cast of upcoming stop-motion animation film MOOMINS AND THE WINTER WONDERLAND, set for global release in December. Stellan has also joined the cast as the voice of Moomin Papa and will executive produce. The Moomins were created by the Finnish writer Tove Jansson in a series of books and comic strips, originally published in Swedish in the 1940s. This new animation follows Filmkompaniet’s 2010 film "Moomins and the Comet Chase", which was also voiced by Stellan as well as son Alexander. It was released in 3D and distributed in over 80 countries.


Volker Schlöndorff's RETURN TO MONTAUK opened in Germany yesterday. The Bavarian daily newspaper, the Münchner Merkur, asked Stellan a few questions about the film. He plays a narcissistic writer called Max, who mourns the failures in his life.

Stellan: "He's an idiot. The women around him are much stronger and wiser than he is. In this respect, one could almost speak of a feminist film. Men who are capable of self-reflection are likely to recapture some typically masculine behavioral patterns in Max. He's a hopeless case, but I like him. Are we not human beings somehow all hopeless cases? Max does not injure other people out of conscious malice, but acts only highly childishly. In fact, he even tries to be a good person - but unfortunately he is anything but good in this discipline."

Schlöndorff has said that everyone on the set had to rummage through their own past but Stellan says, "That's probably what he means for himself. I'm just not the type. Sure, I've made thousands of mistakes over the years, hurting people, and I'm sorry. But I do not want to turn the wheel of history back, because I like my life. I do not want to be in the past and think, 'Oh, I would have done that at that time...' I find the present much too interesting!"

Describing the film's director, Stellan says, "He is flexible and open and leaves you freedom. At each scene, we were able to try out different variations. This is fantastic, because only if you forget your acting technique and its tricks and let yourself be completely absorbed in the respective situation can the spontaneous, irrational, unique moments arise that cannot be planned. I despise filmmakers who want to set things beforehand - then nothing is alive anymore, then the result remains cold and dead. If someone prescribes to turn my head to the left in a certain line of text, I break into laughter. I think, 'Why did you spend money on me at all?' And then I just do what I want!" (Laughs.)


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.

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!"



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