Lars von Trier, the acclaimed, controversial Danish director of Dancer in the Dark, Dogville and Melancholia, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 66.
Von Trier’s production company Zentropa confirmed news reports on Monday that the director had been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, but said he was “in good spirits and being treated for his symptoms.”
In a press release, Zentropa said von Trier will complete post-production on The Kingdom Exodus, the third and final season of its horror-melodrama TV series, which will have its world premiere on August 31 at the Venice Film Festival. Art house streaming platform MUBI has picked up The Kingdom Exodus for North America.
However, Zentropa said von Trier would only do limited publicity work for the project. Von Trier has been press-shy since an infamous press conference for Melancholia in Cannes in 2011, when the director jokingly said he “sympathized” with Adolf Hitler’s police investigation into allegedly “minimizing the Holocaust,” a crime in France. The investigation was dropped without von Trier being charged.
The director directed the first two seasons of The Kingdom in 1994 and 1997. The series is a combination of hospital melodrama and grotesque horror that follows the staff and patients of a state-of-the-art but haunted Copenhagen hospital. The Kingdom Exodus, the series’ third season, features an all-star Scandinavian cast including Mikael Persbrandt, Lars Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Tuva Novotny, with guest starring Alexander Skarsgård and David Dencik.