Variety has announced that Stellan's next project will be the English-language drama - RETURN TO MONTAUK. Based on the Max Frisch 1975 novel, "Montauk", the film will be directed by Volker Schlöndorff. I am super excited about this project because one of my fav films is directed by Schlöndorff and based on another Frisch novel called "Homo Faber". The film was renamed "Voyager" (1991) and starred Sam Shepard and Julie Delpy. I'm also a major fan of Schlöndorff's "The Tin Drum" (1979), which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Stellan will star as a novelist who travels to New York to promote his latest book. He runs into a German expat (played by German actress Nina Ross) whom he had a fling with 17 years earlier. Although he had intended to never see her again, he invites her to join him on his trip to that eponymous end of Long Island. Shooting will begin this spring.
Finally a trailer for Susanna White's espionage thriller, OUR KIND OF TRAITOR, plus some movie stills. Stellan looks awesome in the role of a master puppeteer behind the Russian mob. The globe-trotting spy romp includes film locations in Finland, Bern, Paris, the French Alps and Marrakech. Sounds exciting. Check out the trailer. What's your favorite Le Carre film? Mine would be "The Russia House" with Sean Connery. Terrific soundtrack as well.
A new television talk show debuted in Sweden last month called "Babylon Cinema" and what more interesting guest to invite for its first show than our man. Host Fredrik Sahlin describes him as a dream guest. He states, "Stellan Skarsgård is one of the best you can interview. He is warm, talented and articulate." In this premiere show, Stellan discussed his role in "River". He relates how they came to him with an unfinished manuscript of about 60 pages but he could discern that it was different than the average cop series. He says it was more about the people than the story and that writer Abi Morgan is an amazing writer and cares about each and every character. All are three-dimensional and are described with immense compassion and empathy. Stellan calls his experience both a "challenge and a pleasure." He describes John River with warmth. For him, playing this man who is very vulnerable was interesting. Besides the series, he spoke about acting and how it is to be the father of eight children, whom he sometimes takes on movie sets. He admitted the record number of people he ever took with him on location was when he was filming in Rome and had a total of 43 Swedes during that shoot.
On January 28, Stellan was among the speakers at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm when the NATO committee presented its report on the theme: Sweden, NATO and safety. He is critical of Sweden joining NATO and fears that they will be affected by American values, such as how we view weapons. Instead, he believes Sweden should seek the European Union for providing secruity. Perhaps Stellan should have become a diplomat!
Lionsgate has announced a UK premiere of OUR KIND OF TRAITOR for May 6, 2016 but nothing official yet as to when Le Carré fans will see on this side of the Atlantic. Apparently, it's been a long road to the screen. The film was first announced back in 2012, at which point Justin Kurzel was set to direct and Ralph Fiennes and Mads Mikkelsen to star. Kurzel instead went on to direct Michael Fassbender in Macbeth and neither Fiennes or Mikkelsen ended up starring. By 2013 Susanna White was directing, and in 2014 filming finally got underway with Stellan, Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, and Damian Lewis starring. A year passed and no release materialized, but now, at last, it might be coming our way.
I've posted an edited and translated interview that was published in the January 2, 2016 edition of Sweden's paper, Dagens Nyheter. Among the various topics is his advancing age. Stellan realizes that he's not getting any younger and that the future holds fewer roles for him. I'm confident he's financially set for life and perhaps he can think about retiring and spending time with his young boys, Ossian and Kolbjörn.
Oldest son Alexander is returning to an HBO production this month called Big Little Lies. David E. Kelley has penned an eight-episode adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 darkly comic novel about three mothers of kindergartners whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. The mothers will be played by Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. The cast also includes James Tupper, Laura Dern, Adam Scott and Zoë Kravitz. Alex will play Kidman's husband. Here's a photo of the pair on location. Finally, a guy taller than Nicole!
This summer look for him in "The Legend of Tarzan" opening on July 1st. Director David Yates found a perfect Tarzan for his film. He liked that Alexander was born in Sweden but found a career in America, so "he has this wonderful quality of not quite belonging to one or the other. Plus there is a distinct grace and physicality to the 6-foot-4 actor." To get in shape, Alexander spent four months in an all-consuming regimen before principal photography. He also partnerered with choreographer Wayne McGregor to figure out the movements and posture of a guy who carries himself as an upper-crust Englishman yet ultimately re-embraces his wilder side when he returns to his Congo home. The film will put a different spin on the Edgar Rice Burrough's story compared to previous adaptations so I look forward to seeing how they handle the story this time around.
Headed to the Berlin Film Festival in a couple weeks is the world premiere of John Michael McDonagh’s "War on Everyone," which stars Alexander alongside Michael Pena, Tessa Thompson, and Theo James in a biting satire set in New Mexico about cops on the loose. McDonagh’s “The Guard” and “Calvary” played in Panorama in 2011 and 2013. If you haven't caught Brendan Gleeson in "Calvary", you've missed a gem! Check it out.
Going on to second oldest, Gustaf, you can check him out in the fourth season of the History Channel's series, Vikings. The season will begin February 18th in the US and will run for ten episodes, but there's also a bonus - four extra episodes will air late in the year. Gustaf plays Floki, the genius ship-builder who designs the prototype of the new generation of Viking ships.
Fourth son Bill continues to build his filmography, which now includes a dozen full-length films and a few TV series, such as Netflix's "Hemlock Grove". On March 18, 2016, the adventure sci-fi "The Divergent Series: Allegiant" will be released in theaters. The cast also includes Naomi Watts, Jeff Daniels, Shailene Woodley and Zoë Kravitz. His second film this year is "Emperor" starring Adrian Brody, Thomas Kreschmann, Sophie Cookson, Oliver Platt, Paz Vega and Edie Marston. Bill will play Philip II of Spain. The action epic tells the story of a young girl who seeks revenge on the holy roman Emperor Charles V for the death of her father. No release date has been announced yet.