×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Spike Lee’s ‘Black Klansman’ Adds ‘Vikings’ Actor Jasper Paakkonen (EXCLUSIVE)

“Vikings” actor Jasper Paakkonen has been cast in Spike Lee’s “Black Klansman.”

He joins John David Washington, Topher Grace, and Adam Driver in the film, which Lee is also producing with Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, QC Entertainment, and Blumhouse.

Black Klansman” is adapted from Ron Stallworth’s powerful, stranger-than-fiction, eponymous autobiography — the story of one man who dared to challenge the Ku Klux Klan and thwart its attempts to take over Colorado Springs, Colo. Police Detective Ron Stallworth (Washington), an African American man, miraculously gained status in the KKK’s ranks by pretending to be a white supremacist on the phone or via other forms of correspondence, as part of an undercover investigation.

QC’s Edward H. Hamm Jr. will serve as executive producer on “Black Klansman.” Josh McLaughlin, Focus Features’ president of production, will supervise the project.

This marks a huge break on the domestic audience front for Paakkonen, as the Finnish thesp is well known in his native country, where he has starred in some of its biggest box office hits. Most recently, Paakkonen starred in Charles Henri Belleville’s film “Jet Trash,” opposite Sofia Boutella and Robert Sheehan. Prior to that, he toplined Dome Karukoski’s award-winning movie “Heart of Lion,” winning a Jussi Award for best supporting actor for his performance.

Paakkonen can currently be seen in the upcoming season of the History Channel hit series “Vikings,” where he stars as Halfdan the Black.

Paakkonen is repped by ICM Partners and The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland.

More Film

  • Playables and Double Fine Film 'KIDS'

    Playables and Double Fine Creation 'Kids' Chosen for Berlinale

    “Kids,” a short film from Playables and Double Fine Presents, has been officially selected to screen at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, announced Thursday via press release. The Berlin International Film Festival, commonly called the Berlinale, is one of the largest film festivals in the world. “Kids” will screen in a Berlinale sidebar called Generation. [...]

  • Roland Joffe

    Roland Joffe to Direct Mobster Drama 'The Legitimate Wiseguy'

    Roland Joffe will direct the independent mobster drama “The Legitimate Wiseguy,” Variety has learned exclusively. Joffe received Academy Award nominations for best director for “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. He also helmed “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Forgiven,” “City of Joy,” “Time Traveller,” and “There [...]

  • Christian Bale (left) as Dick Cheney

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the official selection of this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” has also been added, but will screen out of competition. “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

  • Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary

    Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International

    Kew Media Distribution has boarded controversial Michael Jackson sex-abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Kew Media has taken international distribution rights (excluding U.K. and U.S.) to the two-part documentary, which is a co-production of HBO and British broadcaster Channel 4. Directed by BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, “Leaving [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content