Filming for Pirates of the Caribbean is currently on hiatus to allow director Gore Verbinski time to kick off post-production on the first sequel, Dead Man's Chest. Though Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Anna and the King) has been linked with Pirates, it wasn't until now that we finally have confirmation of his role in the untitled Pirates 3 (there's a rumor it might be called Worlds End). He'll play a notorious pirate named Captain Sao Feng. With no Geoffrey Rush to perform villainous duties, perhaps Chow will be our villain.

Here's the first poster from DEAD MAN'S CHEST showing one of its characters - Davy Jones. The plot of the sequel follows a debt owed by Jack Sparrow  to Davy Jones, the terrifying captain of the ghostly ship Flying Dutchman and ruler of the ocean depths. Bill Nighy, who plays the squid-like Jones, says, "I'm so computer generated that you might have trouble spotting me." He also goes on to say, "I can confirm Keith Richards will appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or 3. I'm not sure which one because they are being filmed back to back." Johnny Depp said Richards was the perfect choice to play his father since he modeled his Jack Sparrow character after the famous guitarist.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Because it's summer vacation time, this will be the last update until August 1st.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)In the absence of news now that Stellan is enjoying a hiatus from the film world this summer, I've posted some additions. One is an updated interview with Stellan from Aftonbladet's July 17, 2000 issue,  translated by Camille Hultén, and the second one is an interview from the June 20, 2004 issue of Aftonbladet's Sunday magazine, translated by Robin Solsjö Höglund. The ever-outspoken Skarsgård discusses a variety of interesting topics, including his first marriage to a Spanish woman who needed Swedish citizenship.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited 112 artists and executives to become new voting members of Hollywood's top club and among them is Stellan! If he accepts their invitation, perhaps he can some day vote for his own Oscar nomination! New members will be welcomed into the organization at an invitation-only reception on Wednesday, September 21, at the Academy's Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in Beverly Hills. Due to Stellan's work schedule this fall, I rather doubt he would attend.


Yesterday Stellan wrote me confirming his lead role in GOYA'S GHOSTS. He said he had just gotten back from London where he was scheduled for casts and fittings. "Yes, I got the Goya role about three days ago and am very happy. Great script and great people to work with." The following tidbits were translated (by courtesy of Robin Solsjö Höglund) from Swedish publications. Stellan is quoted as saying, "I am very happy about this project... He (director Milos Forman) is incredibly talented and down to earth, so I look forward to it...  It's an incredible script with strong scenes and good actors... Shooting begins in September... This is a project I am very happy about, something I really want to do." Because he will still be filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in the fall, he says, "I'll have to go to the Bahamas now and then." What does Stellan know about Goya? "I'm not an expert, but I was once standing in front of one of his paintings for hours. Especially his black paintings." We know from interviews with Stellan that he is drawn to darkness - "I constantly want to go down and look in those dark wells." And typically he also adds, "It's fun doing the dark stuff."

The following is just a brief overview (source: Wikipedia) of Goya's life for your interest. I personally am not familiar with the artist so this film project will be very educational.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (March 30, 1746 – April 16, 1828) was a Spanish painter and engraver. He was born in Fuendetodos and later lived primarily in Madrid. Brought up in Zaragoza, at 14 he was apprenticed to José Luzanan, an artist friend of his father. He married Josefa Bayeu, the sister of Francisco Bayeu, in 1773.

His later influence is significant since his art was both deeply subversive and subjective, at a time when these attitudes were not predominant. His emphasis on the foreground and faded background portends the work of Manet.

Goya was a portraitist of royalty and chronicler of history who produced a series of 80 prints that he titled Los Caprichos depicting what he called the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual.

He painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. His themes range from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war, fight and corpses. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern doctors suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy. The style of these Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement.

Goya retired to his Quinta del Sordo (Deaf man's villa) after the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in Spain. Some of his paintings depict scenes of the horrors of the Peninsula War.

Blind and deaf, he died in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux.

Two of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La Maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La Maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed respectively. He painted La Maja Vestida after outrage in Spanish society over the previous Desnuda. He refused to paint clothes on her, and instead created a new painting.

Another familiar Goya work is Saturn Devouring His Son, which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child. This painting is one of fourteen in a series called the Black Paintings.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has announced that Stellan will play Spanish artist Francisco de Goya in Milos Forman's film, GOYA'S GHOSTS! Filming will take place in Spain from September to December.  Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem will co-star. With thanks to Camilla Hultén and Annamarie Strawhand for this news alert! More info coming...


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Yesterday marked the first anniversary of Stellanonline.com! A hearty thank you to those visitors who continue to send words of encouragement and appreciation and an especially warm "tack" to my Swedish contributors and translators, as well as to Stellan, whose friendship has been a blessing. This web site is ever-expanding so expect many more additions in the months ahead.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)A few days ago there was a posting at the IMDB message board that seemingly came from someone representing the Beowulf and Grendel production. They reported that contrary to rumors, the film would not be hitting general screens until the first quarter of 2006 with the exception of possible summer/fall festival appearances. No decision has yet been made as to limited or general release in any territories. Since last November the IMDB has been erroneously reporting an October 10, 2005 release. There has been speculation that the film might premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)Swedish director Niklas Rådström's short debut, Eiffeltornet, starring Stellan and Pernilla August, won the award for Best Script at Spain's Almería en Corto International Short Film Festival, which wrapped June 4th. The film was cited for its humor and intelligence with cultural references. It will be featured at Toronto's Worldwide Short Film Festival, which runs June 14-19.

Last summer when King Arthur premiered, Stellan granted an interview to Sweden's Expressen. It's called "I Love Walking Around Naked" so that should prepare you for its content. I personally prefer to cook with my clothes on lest I burn precious body parts, but apparently Stellan doesn't seem to mind. He is indeed a rascal! I think it's rather special that he remembers first seeing his wife when she was a newborn. Click here for the interview.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)There's a new Image section with 8 photos from the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, which featured Breaking the Waves.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)From the Washington Times, 6/6/05: "Exorcist author sues over sequel - A suit filed by The Exorcist author William Blatty against Morgan Creek Productions says he was not paid for a recent sequel to the horror film. Blatty filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking $750,000, which he said was guaranteed by the studio if it made a second sequel to the original 1973 film, The Hollywood Reporter said Monday. Blatty's attorneys said an October 1996 settlement called for payments to be made of $930,000 for a first sequel and $750,000 for any sequel thereafter. Blatty said he was paid for the first 2004 sequel, Exorcist: The Beginning, but not for the recently released, Dominion: A Prequel to the Exorcist. Morgan Creek could not be reached for comment.


button_box.gif (205 bytes)Best wishes to Stellan on his 54th birthday!

button_box.gif (205 bytes)On April 30 Stellan participated in a panel discussion of actors at Sweden's cultural center, Drömfabriken (Dream Factory). Chaired by film journalist Gunnar Rehlin, the annual event is sponsored by the Swedish Film Institute of Film. Panel guests Stellan, Frida Hallgren, Andreas Wilson and Mikael Persbrandt shared their experiences of working in film and theatre in Sweden and abroad.

button_box.gif (205 bytes) Finally we have a picture of Stellan as Bootstrap Bill! What do you think? Rather ghoulish, eh? Does he look like he spent some time at the bottom of the ocean with those barnacles growing out of his face?


button_box.gif (205 bytes)The following article appeared in several Swedish publications on May 30th. [My thanks to Robin Solsjö Höglund for the translation] 

Skarsgård wanted for Forman movie

Milos Forman's next movie "Goya's Ghosts" is about the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya. Other actors include Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman and - probably Stellan Skarsgård as Goya.

"If it happens, I'll be playing Goya," says Stellan Skarsgård.

Milos Forman is one of the great directors with a list that includes "Hair", "Amadeus", "Man On The Moon", and last but not least, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest". His next project is "Goya's Ghost", a movie about the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. Forman has worked out the script with the frenchman Jean-Claude Carrière. The story revolves around a scandal involving Goya and his muse, who has been branded a heretic by a monk. Javier Bardem, from movies such as "Collateral", might be playing the male lead and "Star Wars"star Natalie Portman the female lead. Stellan Skarsgård might also be in the film, as Goya, but nothing is certain yet.

"It's a great script, and I'd love to make this movie. I'm discussing it with my agent, but we still haven't reached any satisfactory financial agreement." says Stellan.

"Goya's Ghosts" takes place in 1792, at the height of Francisco de Goyas career - he was at that time viewed as the greatest painter in all of Spain. He was seen as a stylistic painter but was also skilled at portraits and worked as a royal painter for kings.

Yes, it's true, Stellan's next project MIGHT be Goya's Ghosts! Stellan emailed me this afternoon with confirmation. He says, "I haven’t been offered the role of Goya yet, but I am in talks with them and will go down to Madrid and meet in a week or two. It’s a beautiful script and I’d love to do it. I think I can make it work with the POTC schedule since I only have a few very concentrated shoots in the Caribbean left."

As reported, Javier Bardem, last seen in The Sea Inside, will play the role of the monk, described as being one of the driving forces behind the Spanish Inquisition. A scandal arises when Goya's muse is framed for heresy by him. Natalie Portman (Closer) will have a double role playing both the muse and her teen daughter Alicia. Variety reports that the historical drama has been long in the works. Filming, expected to begin in October, will take place in Spain and other parts of Europe. For those not familiar with 18th century Spanish art, Goya was one of their greatest painters. He is credited with developing styles that pre-figure both the Impressionists and the Expressionists. Since director Milos Forman previously tackled artistic genius rather successfully in Amadeus, we can hope for a film that gives a fabulous flavor of both time and place in which the artist lived and the artist himself. Let's just hope Stellan gets the role! Remember he's had experience with the old paintbrush having played the Danish artist, Soren Krøyer, in Hip, Hip Hurra!. [The Goya painting is a self portrait]

On a personal note, Stellan writes that he's now enjoying the beautiful Swedish summer spending a lot of time in his country house on an island in the archipelago outside Stockholm. He describes it as "a very nice place with lots of space for friends and family and a little boat to explore other islands." That's so "Stellan-ish" thinking of his friends and family.

I love this story. Before this "little boat" Stellan refers to, he once bought the "Elsa-Marie of Ostra Ed", which was built in 1852. At first inspection, it turned out it had completely decayed. Stellan says,  "I promise you that I was able to put my arm straight through the oak plank. The only times she left the quay was in vertical position. I believe she sank seven times just in the first year. Then we sold her for one Swedish krona."