Lars von Trier is set to revive his mid-90s cult TV show The Kingdom for a third and final season, retitled The Kingdom Exodus. The experimental filmmaker is best known for his acclaimed and often controversial body of work, from Nymphomaniac and Mother!, to The House That Jack Built and Melancholia.
Inspired by Twin Peaks and the 1965 French miniseries Belphegor, von Trier created a semi-surreal, stylised show which followed the neurosurgical staff of a Danish hospital in their many encounters of the unexplainable, both human and supernatural. The series, which in UK and US territories was released as a five-hour film, was due to receive a third season before being unexpectedly cancelled after 1997. This was due in part to the premature deaths of actors Ernst-Hugo Järegård and Kirsten Rolffes in 1998 and 2000, respectively.
As such, The Kingdom’s second season left fans with many unresolved plot lines and little promise of closure. However, over two decades later, von Trier has now announced that the show would receive a third and final season comprised of five hour-long episodes. Filming is planned for next year in anticipation of a 2022 release, with von Trier due to direct all five episodes. Little is known of the plot specifics, and the creator’s statement musings about borders and “lines drawn with rulers on white paper” certainly cleared nothing up. You can read the rest of Lars von Trier’s statement below:
“Borders come in many forms; they may be lines drawn with rulers on white paper (often invisible to whoever chances to visit the actual geographical locations). The lines of the borders may be illustrative, if not to say quite fictitious and downright mean; they may be drawn in a soft, red color, practically invisible, and perhaps even as a dotted line, almost as if indicating an apology or even–shame.
Nevertheless, the lines hang there in inconceivable numbers, and together they constitute those 'territories' that the inhabitants are strong enough to defend. Entering and leaving often entail violence, for, of course, any visitor is expected to return after ending his or her business.
On Earth, "the Machine that makes everything go round (all life, that is)" is dependent on the conflicts which the lines provoke, as if by design. Whether Exodus actually means "entering" or "leaving" depends on the angle from which the border is observed, but the word simply describes a large number of individuals crossing a pencil-drawn line together. Why?…..There is an imbalance between good and evil! The limit has been reached, at least at the Kingdom….But I cannot testify that it will be easy and bloodless to pick the seven astral locks of the world simultaneously with doctor’s blood.”