NEWS: JANUARY 2019

01.30.19:

A film project that went unnoticed last fall has surfaced. Once more, Stellan has starred in a film with his "Signs & Wonders" director and co-star - Jonathan Nossiter and the lovely Charlotte Rampling, one of my favorite actresses. The film is called LAST WORDS, a French-Italian co-production. The sci-fi pre-apocalyptic drama has a cast that also includes Nick Nolte, Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher. Co-written by French-Argentinean author Santiago Amigorena (who also wrote the novel upon which this is based), the year is 2085 and no human babies have been born in over a decade. A group of disparate survivors respond to a call to meet in Athens, where the film’s narrator Jo, a boy of African descent, aims to make the world’s last film. Shot in Italy, France and Morocco through the autumn of 2018, a return to Cannes could be possible. Here are some on-location shots:

01.22.19:

The story behind this photo

The story is about a film that was never made. The photo was taken in 1984 with director/actor Hans Alfredson who wanted to film a famous Swedish novel by Frans G. Bengtsson referred to as "The Long Ships" or "Red Orm". The narrative is set in the late 10th century and follows the adventures of the Viking Röde Orm - called "Red" for his hair and his temper. There were plans for a large scale Swedish screen adaptation to be directed by Hans Alfredson and star Stellan as Orm. The project was cancelled for financial reasons, but Alfredson's script was reworked into radio theatre which was broadcast in 1990.

During the press conference of Swedish film company Film i Väst at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Danish film producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen from Danish film company Zentropa, said that he was going to produce an adaptation of the novel. Aalbæk said that he had Stellan Skarsgård in mind as playing the old Röde Orm and his acting sons Alexander, Gustaf, Bill and Valter playing Röde Orm at various stages in his life. This adaptation was to be split into two films and also as a TV-series in four parts. Sounds a lot like what happened with "Arn". Hans Petter Moland from Norway would direct. Stellan expressed interest in acting in the film if the script was good. Filming was expected to start in Västra Götaland in 2016; however Film i Väst decided to end their collaboration with Zentropa and the film project was cancelled.

Men's fashion magazines obviously have picked up on the tall and handsome Bill Skarsgård in the past couple years. This month he snags the cover of Esquire  España. Wearing winter clothing by Prada, Valentino and Dior, he also takes time to discuss his role as Stephen King's terrifying clown Pennywise. The sequel called "IT: Chapter Two" will open in theaters on September 6th. The film will see the adult version of the Losers' Club revisit Derry, Maine, 27 years later to face their evil nemesis once again. The cast also includes Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader.

Back in May, he graced the cover of Flaunt magazine. Journalist Katie Shepherd writes, "His severe, angular features are instantly recognizable, even from a distance.  He towers above you, sporting a green bomber jacket. You feel a bit like you’re meeting a figure from an Egon Schiele painting, come to life. Skarsgård is striking, with a quiet air of self-possession." 

The year before he appeared on the covers of Dazed, Interview and Jocks & Nerds with terrific photo shoots.

 
 

01.20.19:

I unearthed a little treasure. For art's sake, Stellan participated in a 2018 animated film called THE BREATH'S DEER. The short ten-minute film by Swedish artist Anders Ramsell is a sci-fi story painted entirely in watercolor about what awaits humanity and moves seamlessly between genres of Sci-Fi and Fine Art.

Stellan provides the voice taking on the role of Ramsell while the audience sees a painted version of the artist himself. Ramsell says, "Anyone, regardless of sex, skin color, sexual orientation, can take on the role of me. This time my art has reached Stellan. He really expressed what I wanted to say in a fantastic way; no one has heard him express himself this way before." Stellan says, "There's a treacherous beauty and sensuality in Anders' animations. I find his paintings both attractive and disturbing, just like those dreams early in the morning that you can't let go of, but instead grab you to take you back into their fragmented poetry."

While the script, animation, direction and editing is all done by Ramsell, the music is a collaboration with American cellist Lori Goldston. Goldston, who plays cello in the soulful song Anders recorded for the end credits, says: "The song conveys a quiet, urgent intimacy, directly reflective of the film’s spare and mysterious atmosphere. I tried to create a cello part that meshes with the film’s narrative power and the twists and turns of the story."

The film made its debut in September at the Fantoche International Animation Film Festival in Baden, Switzerland. It was also selected for the Fredrikstad Animation Festival in Norway in October.

01.18.19:

I've added the film page for OUT STEALING HORSES (aka Ut og stjæle hester) with several screen shots of Stellan. As previously announced, it will premiere at BIFF next month on February 9th. Very exciting!  The trailer can be viewed at this youtube link. Just before filming began last year in Trysil and Swedish Åmål and Trollhättan, Stellan told Dagsavisen, "Trond and Lars build an almost wordless relationship. I read the novel many years ago, and it's really great literature. It is also a book that is difficult to convert into movies, but I think Hans Petter has written an incredibly nice script. It is close to the novel and Hans Petter has managed to transfer the book's poetry to film."

This is a photograph of Stellan taken in Norway last year when he was giving an interview at the beginning of film production. I like his Nordic sweater.

01.10.19:

Stellan has joined the cast of DUNE, Legendary's adaptation of the Frank Herbert novel being directed by Denis Villeneuve. Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson and Dave Bautista are already on the call sheet for the big-budget feature that is headed toward a spring start and will shoot in Budapest and Jordan.  Considered a sci-fi literary classic, the complex story is about a fallen noble family's attempt to control a desert planet named Arrakis and its export, a rare spice drug, while being betrayed by a galactic emperor. Chalamet is playing Paul Atreides, the son of the ruler of the family, who is forced to escape into the desert wastelands and partner with its nomadic tribes. Stellan will play one of the villains named Baron Harkonnen, whose family previously ruled Arrakis and has a long hatred of the Atreides family. The script was written by Villeneuve, Eric Roth and Jon Spaihts.

Here are two darling photos of Stellan with Mamma Mia! co-star Julie Walters.

The newest collaboration between director Petter Moland and Stellan, OUT STEALING HORSES (aka Ut og stjæle hester), has been selected to compete for the Golden Bear award at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, February 9th. The film is based on Per Petterson’s eponymous best-selling novel, translated into 50 languages. Set in 1999, the story focuses on 67-year-old Trond (Stellan) who has moved to a remote house in the forest where he can grieve the death of his wife. The countryside idyll is disturbed however, by a chance encounter with a neighbor whom he knew when he was young, in the summer 1948. That summer his father disappeared from his life for good. The same summer for the first time he felt close to a woman, the same woman who disappeared with his father.

Here are several publicity photos:

 
Other cast members include Jon Ranes, Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelmann, Pål Sverre Hagen, Gard B. Eidsvold and Danica Curcic. Moland said the film was "a work of maddening passion from a great group of people, a delirious attempt to capture the mesmerizing tone in a story full of tactile observations and life-altering dramatic events. It's simply great to be able to share the film with the audience in Berlin and in Norway". The Norwegian premiere is set for March 8th.

 

 

   

 

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