By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 18, 2011 at 3:18AM
Magnolia Pictures and Madman announced that they have pre-bought North American and Australia/New Zealand rights to the anticipated Martin Scorsese-Lars von Trier project "The Five Obstructions: Scorsese vs. Trier." Slated to be completed in 2013, the documentary collaboration is a follow-up to Trier's landmark 2003 documentary collaboration with Jorgen Leth, wherein von Trier challenged Leth to remake his 1967 short film "The Perfect Human" five times, with an increasingly difficult set of strict rules, or obstructions, that he had to follow. Scorsese subjecting himself to Trier's challenge was one the biggest announcements out of Cannes this year. The film will be a co-production between Scorsese's Sikelia Productions and Trier and Peter Aalbaek Jensen's Zentropa Real.
"The Five Obstructions is one of my all time favorite films, and I couldn't be more excited to see what these two masters concoct together for this next installment," said Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn in a statement. "After being blown away by 'Melancholia' here in Cannes, the opportunity to work with Lars Von Trier again is a dream come true."
"Strengthening long standing bonds over a legendary dinner. Madman looks to the future and sees no obstructions boarding Lars Vs Martin. There is a lot of mutual love to champion maverick film makers," added Paul Wiegard, MD Madman Entertainment
Magnolia and Madman additionally announced it is pre-buying TrustNordisk and Zentropa Entertainment's sweeping historical drama "A Royal Affair." Currently in production, the 18th century historical drama four years in the making, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander. Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, screenwriter of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", the film is an epic romance about the love triangle between a German doctor, the queen of Denmark and her deranged king. The film was produced by Meta Louise Foldager ("Melancholia") and Sisse Graum Jorgensen ("In a Better World") for Zentropa Entertainments.
CEO of TrustNordisk Rikke Ennis about the two deals: "We did it again. We are so proud of working on these amazing films with our good friends from Magnolia and Madman. After a long and inspiring night with brainstorming on ideas for releases, we are confident that the films will be handled like little babies."
The deals were done by Magnolia's Tom Quinn and Eamonn Bowles, Madman's Paul Wiegard and Nick Batzias, with Susan Wendt and Rikke Ennis for TrustNordisk.