Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom, the TV show set on the neurosurgical ward of a Copenhagen hospital which ran for two seasons in the 1990s, is to return for a third and final five-episode run that will shoot in 2021.
The cult show, which was released as a five-hour movie in some territories, had originally been planned to run for three seasons but never completed due in part to the deaths of key cast members Ernst-Hugo Järegård and Kirsten Rolffes. Producers Zentropa are keeping details under wraps but did say the new edition will be a mix of new and returning characters.
Von Trier has penned the script, again with Niels Vørsel, and will direct all five episodes under the title The Kingdom Exodus. Plot specifics are unknown but it is expected to explore unsolved stories of the hospital as well as reigniting old feuds between the Swedes and the Danes.
Louise Vesth is producing through Zentropa Entertainments and the show is a collaboration between Viaplay, DR and Zentropa with financial support from Film i Väst and Nordisk Film & TV Fond among others.
Alongside the release of the third season, which is planned for 2022 and will debut locally on streamer Viaplay, restored versions of the eight episodes from the first and second series will also be re-released. TrustNordisk is handling sales.
The original two seasons were remade by Stephen King into the 13-episode U.S. drama Kingdom Hospital in 2004.
This will be von Trier’s first step behind the camera since The House That Jack Built, which was released in 2018, and his first small screen endeavor since the early 2000s.
Here’s a cryptic statement from von Trier:
“Borders come in many forms; they may be lines drawn with rulers on white paper (often invisible to whoever chances to visit the actual geographical locations). The lines of the borders may be illustrative, if not to say quite fictitious and downright mean; they may be drawn in a soft, red color, practically invisible, and perhaps even as a dotted line, almost as if indicating an apology or even – shame.”
“Nevertheless, the lines hang there in inconceivable numbers, and together they constitute those ‘territories’ that the inhabitants are strong enough to defend. Entering and leaving often entail violence, for, of course, any visitor is expected to return after ending his or her business.
“On Earth, “the Machine that makes everything go round (all life, that is)” is dependent on the conflicts which the lines provoke, as if by design. Whether Exodus actually means “entering” or “leaving” depends on the angle from which the border is observed, but the word simply describes a large number of individuals crossing a pencil-drawn line together. Why?….. There is an imbalance between good and evil! The limit has been reached, at least at the Kingdom…. But I cannot testify that it will be easy and bloodless to pick the seven astral locks of the world simultaneously with doctor’s blood.”
Managing Director at TrustNordisk, Susan Wendt, added, “We are absolutely thrilled about this announcement and very proud to be representing the series The Kingdom Exodus by one of the great auteurs of our time. With this announcement, audiences all over the world can look forward to no less than five brand new episodes of The Kingdom, some of Lars von Trier’s most defining and beloved work. We have great faith in the project and truly believe that something unique will arise from within the walls of the Kingdom once again.”
Producer Louise Vesth added, “Zentropa is extremely proud to announce this great finale of The Kingdom. Hospitals, horror and humor with added Lars von Trier on top is just the perfect series addiction. With the five new episodes in The Kingdom Exodus, the series will have a total of 13 episodes.”