Home-grown superhero to colonise the US

The release of ‘Antboy’, along with the film adaptation of Jussi Adler Olsen’s ‘Kvinden i buret’, should ensure a bumper weekend for Danish cinema

The home-grown superhero flick ‘Antboy’, which makes its debut at Danish cinemas on Thursday October 3, is already set to colonise the world thanks to a deal to make a US version signed in early September. That’s quick work – even for an ant!

Viva Pictures president Victor Elizalde made the announcement on September 7 following a deal with Attraction Distribution for the US rights of the Danish film.

On the same day, Denmark’s first ever silver-screen superhero made its international debut – a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The comedy-adventure, based on the popular children’s book series by Kenneth Bøgh Andersen, is the feature-length directorial debut of Danish filmmaker Ask Hasselbalch, 34, who has previously directed numerous shorts, commercials and music videos.

“My ambition with ‘Antboy’ is to prove that we can make superhero movies at home and that Americans do not have a patent on that kind of film,” Hasselbalch told the Danish Film Institute.

For the young director, the aim was to find a new way of telling the superhero story. A long way from the looming cityscapes and CGI effects of big-budget Hollywood productions, ‘Antboy’ is a superhero adventure with a very Danish flavour.

“Unless you have the money, don’t try to do anything like ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Iron Man’. Do your own concept,” added Hasselbalch.

The film features the familiar face of Nicolas Bro, a stalwart of the Danish film industry who most recently played Mogens Glistrup in the film ‘Glistrup & Spies’. His role as The Flea, Antboy’s arch-nemesis, sees him return to villainous type.

As an actor who played a kleptomanic alcoholic rapist in ‘Adams æbler’ (Adam’s apples), a gay-bashing Neo-Nazi in ‘Broderskab’ (‘Brotherhood’) a paraphilic serial killer in ‘Mørke’, a cannibalistic sadist in ‘Beast’, and an estate agent in ‘De grønne slagtere’ (‘The green butchers’), it was rather bizarre that Monday’s Ekstra Bladet said he had never played a villain before.

Danish cinema-goers are in for a bumper weekend, with another keenly-anticipated domestic film, ‘Kvinden i buret’ (‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’), also due out on Thursday.
Directed by Mikkel Norgaard (‘Klovn: The Movie’) and adapted by Nikolaj Arcel (original-language Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) from Jussi Adler Olsen’s bestselling crime novel, the film features Nikolaj Lie Kaas (‘Dirch’, ‘Angels and Demons’) as a policeman who reopens the case of a politician who disappeared from a ferry five years earlier.

The film made its international debut at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland on August 10, and according to the buzz, fans of Nordic Noir can look forward to big-budget cinematography and production design, with shadowy interiors and cigarette smoke lingering in the air.
 





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