Mads Mikkelsen is in negotiations to play the villain in director Doug Liman’s sci-fi thriller Chaos Walking. Mikkelsen has won acclaim of late thanks to high-profile roles in Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and TV’s Hannibal, but the Danish actor’s star has actually been on the rise for some time. Having credits in his native Denmark dating back more than 20 years, Mikkelsen’s debut film in Hollywood came with a supporting role as Tristan in King Arthur in 2004, followed by his breakthrough role as James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) nemesis Le Chiffre in Casino Royale in 2006.
Chaos Walking, which stars Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Tom Holland and Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley, is set in a dystopian future in a place called New World. Every one there is infected by a virus known as “The Noise,” where all living creatures can hear each immerse themselves in other’s thoughts. Holland plays Todd, a boy who happens upon a strange and silent girl named Viola (Ridley), who may have the key to unlocking the secrets of New World. The Mayor of Prentisstown, who is a vigilant keeper of his own secrets, is on the hunt for Todd and Viola — who he once mentored.
According to Deadline, Mikkelsen appears to be primed to play the bad guy once again. The publication says the actor is in talks to play the villainous Mayor of Prentisstown in the big-screen adaptation of Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first book in the hit trilogy of YA novels by Patrick Ness.
Thanks to his convincing turns playing the heavy in Casino Royale, Hannibal (where he played the titular role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter) and Doctor Strange, Mikkelsen has no doubt shown over the years that the wherewithal to play a suitably menacing antagonist.
But thanks to his convincing turn as Galen Erso, the conflicted architect of the Death Star in Rogue One, Mikkelsen demonstrated that he’d equally adept at playing one of the good guys, and effectively has prevented himself from getting typecast as a villain. He’s much like Michael Shannon in that regard, whose diversity of roles has enabled to play in all sorts of genres as he continues to impress audiences with each outing.
The biggest test for Mikkelsen and Liman, as well as Holland and Ridley, though, comes with the material itself. YA-based film series with dystopian themes like The Hunger Games and Divergent both got off to strong starts, but interest waned in them as the films wore on. Deadline says Lionsgate is eyeing Chaos Walking as a potential franchise, and if that’s true, they’re building a strong foundation for the series’ potential success by employing Holland, Ridley, with any luck, Mikkelsen. We’ll find out when The Knife of Letting Go arrives in 2019
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