Lars von Trier has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As reported by The Copenhagen Post, the 66-year-old’s production company Zentropa Entertainment made the announcement with the Danish filmmaker’s blessing.
“Lars is in good spirits and is being treated for his symptoms — and given treatment so he can complete Riget Exodus,” a statement read. “The illness means that Lars will only take part in interviews to a limited extent until the premiere later in the year.”
Riget Exodus, which translates to The Kingdom Exodus, is the third and final installment of von Trier’s cult supernatural series — the first two seasons aired in 1994 and 1997. Centering around the staff and patients of the neurosurgical ward in Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, the new episodes will focus on a sleepwalker named Karen. The cast features Mikael Persbrandt, Lars Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Tuva Novotny, and David Dencik, with Alexander Skarsgård and David Dencik guest-starring.
von Trier has won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes Film Festival for 1996’s Breaking the Waves and also picked up the coveted Palme d’Or for the 2000 musical called Dancer in the Dark starring Björk. The musician later accused him of committing sexual assault during the making of the film.
Subsequently, in 2011, von Trier made an extremely poor attempt at a joke while promoting his film Melancholia by saying he “sympathized” with Hitler and was subsequently banned from Cannes for seven years.
Some of von Trier’s other notable films include Europa, Breaking the Waves, Dogville, Antichrist, and Nymphomaniac. His last movie was 2018’s The House That Jack Built, which marked his return to Cannes.