Ida Jessen’s novel The Bastard is being adapted for the screen! 

In Cannes, the film was announced with the working title of King’s Land.

Other new cast are Kristine Kujath Thorp (Sick Of Myself), Magnus Krepper (Queen Of Hearts), Morten Hee Andersen (Ride Upon The Storm), Jakob Lohmann (Riders Of Justice) and Felix Kramer (Dark).

The film is now shooting in Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic and production company Zentropa has released the first image of the shoot (see above).

The story is set in the mid-1700s when Danish King Frederik V declared that the wild heath of Jutland should be tamed, cultivated, and colonized so that civilization could spread and new taxes be generated for the royal house. But nobody dared go to this brutal land until a lone soldier named Ludvig Kahlen stepped up.

The film has a budget of €8m, which Zentropa says is one of its biggest feature film budgets in years.

TrustNordisk has pre-sold to the US (Magnolia), Germany (Plaion), France (The Jokers), Benelux (September) and Hungary (Vertigo).

Arcel writes the script alongside Anders Thomas Jensen (Riders Of Justice) based on the 2020 book The Captain And Ann Barbara.

Louise Vesth produces for Zentropa, in co-production with Zentropa Berlin and Zentropa Sweden in cooperation with TV2 Denmark, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, SVT and PLAION PICTURES in co-production with Film i Väst with support from Danish Film Institute, Eurimages, Den Vestdanske Filmpulje, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Czech Film Fund and Swedish Film Institute.

Nordisk handles the Nordic distribution, slated for autumn 2023.

The project marks Arcel’s first Danish film for nearly a decade. He reunites with Mikkelsen after their collaboration on 2012’s Oscar-nominated A Royal Affair.

The novel is a western from the Jutland heath from a time when the land was still to be conquered. It’s about a fierce and uncompromising man and the woman who became his ally. An intense and dramatic story of the struggles against the raw forces of nature, of big dreams and even bigger sacrifices, of revenge and discipline, love, loss and the purest of evil.