EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon will play a serial killer in The House That Jack Built, the next feature film by director Lars von Trier. Dillon will star with Bruno Ganz, the first castmembers that the filmmaker has divulged as he puts together the picture. Ganz will take on the role of a mysterious figure named Verge, who engages Jack in a recurring conversation about his actions and thoughts.

bruno-ganz-photo-by-ruth-walz-1
Ruth Walz

Said Von Trier: “It’s with great pleasure that we have succeeded in being able to present Matt Dillon and Bruno Ganz as the lead actors in The House That Jack Built. The two gentlemen have each figured as milestones in my cinematic development. Besides being an epochal match, they are excellent actors and fit quite organically into “my cinematic family.” I look forward with pleasure and pride to working with them both.”

The House That Jack Built follows the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and introduces the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. Additional cast, including 4 prominent female roles, is to be set soon. Shooting will take place in Trollhättan, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The House That Jack Built is produced by Zentropa Group in co-production with Film i Väst, Copenhagen Film Fund, Slot Machine, with support from Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, CNC, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Eurimages, The Media Programme of the European Union, and in cooperation with DR, Nordisk Film Distribution, Concorde, Potemkine, Les Films du Losange, SVT. International sales by TrustNordisk.

This adds another layer to a long list of Dillon performance ranging from protagonists to villains — sometimes combining those qualities in the same role —  since he first broke through in The Outsiders, and in films from There’s Something About Mary, his Oscar-nominated turn in Crash, and Drugstore Cowboy, the latter of which won him the IFP Spirit Award.

Ganz, a star of German language films and TV, had his big breakthrough in 1976’s Sommergäste and has worked with such directors as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Francis Ford Coppola, and is best known for Wings of Desire, Pane e tulipani and for his acclaimed portrayal of Adolf Hitler in Downfall (Der Untergang). At the 2010 European Film Awards, Ganz received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dillon is repped by UTA and Untitled, Ganz by Bambauer Actors.