Viggo Mortensen became a god to fanboys and fangirls with his stern portrayal of the heroic Aragorn in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. But rather than parlay this widespread adoration into a career as an action hero, Mortensen dived into a string daring dramas with controversial director David Cronenberg like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and A Dangerous Method. What I'm saying is Mortensen seems compelled to court risk. And with his latest, Walter Salles' adaptation of Jack Kerouac's seminal book On the Road primed to hit theaters this winter, Mortensen is already looking ahead to his next challenge.

Variety reports Mortensen has signed on to star and produce an untitled drama by Argentinian auteur Lisandro Alonso, who has garnered international notice at film festivals all over Europe and South America. The film will center on a Danish man (Mortensen) who journeys with his daughter to a desert that lies "in a realm beyond the confines of civilization." As Mortensen's father was born in Denmark, it seems he may have a source close to home from which he can pull inspiration. There's no word yet on who might play Mortensen's onscreen child.

While Alonso's past works haven't made much impact Stateside, Mortensen's involvement here could prove to be the tipping point for the filmmaker. Though having made repeated appearance at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival—for La Libertad in 2001, Los Muertos in 2004, and Liverpool in 2008—it could be said it was a just a matter of time before American audiences take notice of Alonso.

Alonso's untitled drama will roll into production early next year, and will shoot in Argentina and Denmark.

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