Mads Mikkelsen To Play The Hero, For Once, In Action Spy Thriller The Black Kaiser

Mads Mikkelsen has earned quite a name for himself playing villains on both the big and small screens, from the creepy blood-weeping Le Chiffre in "Casino Royale" to charismatic cannibal epicurean Hannibal Lecter on NBC's "Hannibal." Now he's set to play a hero (sort of) in Jonas Åkerlund's "The Black Kaiser," a new film based on the "Polar" graphic novels by Victor Santos. Åkerlund and Mikkelsen previously took on the character and world for the Netflix film "Polar" in 2019, though it was not exactly beloved by critics. I thought "Polar" was a messy exploitation action thriller that had some truly fun moments, and am actually kind of excited to see Mikkelsen return to the character for another round of intense violence.

Here comes the Black Kaiser

The announcement came via press release that Constantin Film and JB Pictures are producing the film with Dark Horse Entertainment. XYZ Films will executive produce and introduce the film to potential buyers at the Marché du Film at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. "Polar" scribe Jayson Rothwell wrote the film with Mikkelsen, who will star once more as the "world's most lethal hitman," the Black Kaiser, as well as executive produce. "Polar" was based on the graphic novel "Polar Volume 1: Came From the Cold," and the prequel collection, "Polar Volume 0: The Black Kaiser" shares a name with the film, so it's possible this will actually be a prequel to the 2019 Netflix film. The press release stated that additional cast are already in discussions, so it's possible we could see Katheryn Winnick, Matt Lucas, or even Johnny Knoxville reprise their roles from "Polar." 

The official synopsis reads:

"The Black Kaiser (Mads Mikkelsen), the world's most lethal hitman, uncovers a deadly conspiracy protecting a powerful syndicate of killers, and becomes their number one target."

That sounds an awful lot like "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum," but given just how different the tone of "Polar" and "John Wick" are, it should still be its own wildly entertaining ride. The first "Polar" film felt like a mix of "John Wick" and the "Crank" flicks, with crass humor, gruesome violence, and a lot of truly ridiculous moments. It wasn't perfect, but it was refreshingly weird, and I wouldn't mind seeing Mikkelsen take on a whole assortment of assassins. There's nothing quite like a battle royale among badasses, after all, and Mikkelsen can hold his own as an anti-hero. 

There isn't much more information about "The Black Kaiser" just yet, but hopefully we'll hear more soon. Stay tuned!