Mads Mikkelsen, seen recently in “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” is to headline the action spy thriller “The Black Kaiser,” directed by Jonas Akerlund (“Lords of Chaos,” “Clark”). The movie is written by Jayson Rothwell and Mikkelsen, based on the Dark Horse graphic novel “Polar” by Victor Santos. It is produced by “Resident Evil” duo Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer. XYZ Films will executive produce and sell worldwide rights at the Cannes Film Market.
The project marks the second time Mikkelsen, Akerlund, Bolt and Kulzer have teamed on an adaptation of Santos’ graphic novel. In 2019, Akerlund brought his highly stylized auteur approach to Netflix’s “Polar,” starring Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas and Richard Dreyfuss, which landed the #1 spot on IMDb MovieMeter for two consecutive weeks.
Discussions with additional cast for “The Black Kaiser” are underway, with further announcements to come.
In the film, the Black Kaiser (Mikkelsen), the world’s most lethal hitman, uncovers a deadly conspiracy protecting a powerful syndicate of killers, and becomes their number one target.
The film is a Constantin Film/JB Pictures production in association with Dark Horse Entertainment, with Martin Moszkowicz, Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Mikkelsen executive producing.
“We are very excited to be working with the brilliant Mads Mikkelsen and the visionary Jonas Akerlund on what will be an explosive, action packed, funny, unexpected and little insane and emotional journey,” said Bolt.
Mikkelsen is best known for roles in “Casino Royale” and as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the TV series “Hannibal.” Other roles include “The Hunt,” “Doctor Strange,” “Arctic,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Another Round” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.” He will next be seen in the upcoming “Untitled Fifth Indiana Jones Film.”
As a music video director, Akerlund has won Grammy Awards with Paul McCartney and twice with Madonna. Jonas’ feature film “Lords of Chaos,” starring Emory Cohen, Rory Culkin, Jack Kilmer and Sky Ferreira, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018. His other credits include “Small Apartments,” starring Matt Lucas, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville and James Caan. His first film, “Spun,” starring Jason Schwartzmann, the late Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Mena Suvari and Mickey Rourke, has garnered a cult following. Most recently, Jonas directed the Netflix limited series “Clark,” which was released to rave reviews in May.
XYZ’s projects include “Hounds of War,” starring Frank Grillo, Robert Patrick and Rhona Mitra, and the Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead film “Something in the Dirt,” which premiered at Sundance this year. Its slate also includes Nic Cassavetes’ “God Is a Bullet,” starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maika Monroe and Jamie Foxx, “Nocebo,” directed by Lorcan Finnegan with Eva Green and Mark Strong, and “Accused” from BAFTA-nominated “Boiling Point” director Philip Barantini. XYZ is in post-production on the Netflix Original “Havoc,” directed by Gareth Evans and starring Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker.
Mikkelsen is repped by UTA and Art Management. Akerlund is repped by Anonymous Content and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.