melancholia-trier-cast

Gotta hope Kirsten Dunst knows what she’s getting into. The former Mary Jane Watson has signed, along with Kiefer Sutherland and several others, to appear in Melancholia, the new film from Lars von Trier. Not by any stretch the kindest of directors, Trier has been known to test his actresses in outlandish and subversive ways. What rigors can Dunst expect to endure?

Deadline says that, in addition to Dunst and Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, Alexander Skarsgaard, his father Stellan Skarsgaard and The Kingdom‘s big scary baby Udo Kier are all attached to roles. (Gainsbourg, having been the last object of Trier’s demanding directorial ways, committed what some might call unspeakable acts onscreen in Antichrist en route to a Best Actress win at Cannes last year.)

Penelope Cruz was once attached to the role that will now go to Dunst. So, basically, Trier lost one actress to a giant franchise (Pirates of the Caribbean) and took Dunst when she was freed from Spider-Man.

We still don’t know much about Melancholia. Reportedly a ‘psychological disaster movie,’ the film seems to involve a planet whose orbit intersects that of Earth and, given Trier’s general tone and preoccupations, one would expect some small-scale representation of the utter panic and terror that erupts on our planet when the situation is grasped. Trier hasn’t said much about the movie, aside from his now-famous early proclamation: “No more happy endings!”

With this cast, he can do whatever the hell he wants, as far as I’m concerned. Not that I’m surprised to see him assembling such a collection of talent. Aside from the rather small-scale Antichrist, many of his films and more ambitious projects (like The Kingdom) have sported amazing ensemble casts in the past. And look at how many of the people in this list — Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgaard, Udo Kier — are returning for another go with the director. No question that he’s demanding and odd, but Lars von Trier has to have a lot more going on than that to have so many returning for another film.

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