Magnolia Pictures Will Distribute The Five Obstructions: Scorsese vs. Trier

By Katey Rich 2011-05-18 13:35:16discussion comments
Magnolia Pictures Will Distribute The Five Obstructions: Scorsese vs. Trier image
In case you couldn't quite believe the news that Lars von Trier and Martin Scorsese would in fact be teaming up to remake Von Trier's documentary The Five Obstructions, it's gotten even more official now that an American distributor has come on board. In a press release Magnolia Pictures announced that they've teamed up with a company called Madman to distribute the film, which is actually called The Five Obstructions: Scorsese vs. Trier. The deal also includes another Danish film, the period drama A Royal Affair starring Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander, but it's unlikely that movie will be nearly as hyped as the film nerd collision that is Scorsese vs. Trier.

Sadly, as we suggested when we first learned the news, we won't be getting a look at this mad experiment any time soon--the press release confirms that the film won't be finished until 2013, which means it could be as late as 2014 when the two inevitably show up at Cannes and infuriate people. Well, at least von Trier probably will.

Below is the press release with all the nitty gritty details.

Cannes – May 18, 2011 – The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnolia Pictures and Madman announced today they have respectively pre-bought North American and Australia/New Zealand rights to two high profile films from TrustNordisk and Zentropa Entertainment: the just announced and hugely anticipated Lars von Trier and Martin Scorsese collaboration, THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS: SCORSESE VS TRIER, and the sweeping historical drama, A ROYAL AFFAIR.

Martin Scorsese subjecting himself to Lars Von Trier’s challenge was one of the biggest announcements out of Cannes this year. THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS: SCORSESE VS TRIER follows in the footsteps of The Five Obstructions, Trier’s landmark 2003 documentary collaboration with Jørgen 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. Slated to be finished in 2013, THE FIVE OBSTRUCTIONS: SCORSESE VS TRIER is a co-production between Scorsese's Sikelia Productions and Trier and Peter Aalbaek Jensen’s Zentropa Real.

Magnolia and Madman are distributers of Trier’s gorgeous Melancholia, which debuted with much fanfare today at Cannes, and will be released later this year.

Currently in production, A ROYAL AFFAIR is an 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 Jørgensen (In a Better World) for Zentropa Entertainments.

“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. “After being blown away by Melancholia here in Cannes, the opportunity to work with Lars Von Trier again is a dream come true. Together with A ROYAL AFFAIR, we are so happy to continue our wonderful relationship with TrustNordisk and Zentropa.”

"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," said Paul Wiegard, MD Madman Entertainment.

CEO of TrustNordisk Rikke Ennis about the 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.

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