Next pic 'Mandalay' to begin lensing August 2003

MILAN — Danish auteur Lars von Trier is planning to reunite with Nicole Kidman for two more films, which will form a trilogy with their recently completed “Dogville.”

In “Dogville,” which is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival, Kidman plays an innocent stranger who arrives in a small American town and overturns the preconceptions of its inhabitants about human nature.

According to exec producer Peter Aalbaeck Jensen of Zentropa Entertainments, Kidman has pledged to play the same character in two more movies.

The next pic in the trilogy, to be titled “Mandalay,” is scheduled to shoot in August 2003. That’s when Kidman has told the producers she’ll next be available, after filming Jonathan Glazer’s “Birth” followed by the remake of “The Stepford Wives.”

Von Trier has just put the final touches on “Dogville.” But U.S. buyers hoping to glimpse some footage on their upcoming trip to the Nov. 7 Copenhagen premiere of Lone Scherfig’s “Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself” will be disappointed. Jensen says he won’t show a second of von Trier’s 165-minute cut until Cannes.

Von Trier’s last film, the musical “Dancer in the Dark,” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2000.

“Dogville” reps another piece of radical experimentation by the Danish enfant terrible. He reportedly created small-town America on a bare soundstage with no sets — just actors, lighting, sound, theatrical backdrops and up to 100 digital cameras per scene. It is unclear whether von Trier intends to use the same technique for the other two films in the trilogy.

Cast for the $10 million “Dogville” includes Paul Bettany, Chloe Sevigny, Lauren Bacall, Ben Gazzara, Stellan Skarsgard and the late Katrin Cartlidge.

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