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Melancholia director Lars Von Trier might be making his way onto your television soon, and not just via reruns of his more famous movies. The formerly silent director is set to write and direct a new series called The House that Jack Built for the Danish company DR, who are producing the series in English and hope to sell it internationally.
Sometimes when well-known directors decide to jump into the world of television, it seems like a natural transition. Steven Spielberg’s TV programs offer great storytelling while Michael Bay’s offer quick quips and plenty of explosions, and so on and so forth. However, if Lars Von Trier’s series does move forward, it’s notable for two reasons. The first is that Von Trier has made a career out of avant garde concepts and controversial features, most recently Nymphomaniac Volume I and II, making it difficult to pinpoint what his TV niche might be. The second is that while Von Trier has directed TV shows in the past, it’s been nearly two decades since he sat in the director’s chair for a television miniseries. Luckily, he does have some experience with creating TV programming.
Von Triers is most famous in the TV realm for the short series The Kingdom, which aired eight episodes in 1994. The show followed employees of a hospital who were privy to strange and often supernatural happenings. That series was successful enough that it was remade by Stephen King in the United States in 2004 and the title was changed to Kingdom Hospital.
The news was first announced during the Venice Film Festival, and was basically presented as a teaser, so we don’t know much about the plot, yet. According to THR, the show is being produced by the same company that created the original versions of The Killing and The Bridge, meaning there’s a good chance the House that Jack Built will be a highly compelling but dark drama. We do know for sure that the title stems from a famous Mother Goose rhyme, but that doesn’t necessarily tell us anything. Von Trier’s producer Louise Vesth says it should be great, so we’ll just have to trust her on the subject, right now.
"He has a really good idea which I cannot tell more about right now. He wants a huge cast and from what I heard, I’m sure that it will be something that you have never seen before and you will definitely never see again.”
The Danish TV producer has plenty of time to work out all of these details. Early estimates indicate that The House That Jack Built isn’t expected to go into production until 2016, which makes sense, considering Von Trier’s schedule. He’s also working on a horror project called Detroit, although he will begin writing The House That Jack Built this fall. We'll update you as the project moves forward.