Nearly a year after its announcement, Polar sequel The Black Kaiser is set for sales at the Cannes market. Derrick Borte (Unhinged) will replace Polar helmer Jonas Akerlund as director for the pic based on Victor Santos’s 2012 Dark Horse graphic novel publication.
Swedish filmmaker Jonas Åkerlund will reteam with actor Mads Mikkelsen for The Black Kaiser, a sequel to Åkerlund’s adaptation of Victor Santos’s 2012 graphic novel publication, Polar which premiered on Netflix in 2019.
This will come as a shock to no one, but action films are violent. It’s simply inherent to the formula. Bullets flying, cars crashing, wild brawls, and the destruction of property are par for the course. There is also a lot of death and loss caused by that carnage. Sometimes that aspect is hand waved away with a “just don’t think about it” attitude or it’s used as motivation for even more violence. Rarely though does a film with action trappings confront the heavy thought of what loss and the associated trauma actually does to a person. That idea though is at the core of Danish writer/director Anders Thomas Jensen’s new film RIDERS OF JUSTICE.
The “grizzled older badass extracting revenge on people who unwittingly screwed with them” has become a tired trope in the years since Liam Neeson first warned of his “particular set of skills” in 2008’s TAKEN. Since then, almost every action star, or older actor trying to revitalize their career, has done a film with a similar setup, leading to understandably mixed results. With so many examples of this action subgenre around now, it takes exceptional talent and a unique approach to make one of these projects interesting.
Spun helmer Jonas Åkerlund is still in the game and even closer with the upcoming January 25 release of his newest graphic novel actioner, Polar. Entertainment Weekly lit up the interwebs on Monday morning providing an exclusive look at the official trailer and poster host to a cast led by Mads Mikkelsen in fine form as a grisled former hitman pulled back into the fray – Based on Victor Santos’ 2012 graphic novel publication.
From his burgeoning heyday as MysteryGuitarMan on YouTube to the festival throes at Cannes, debut filmmaker Joe Penna is setting forth his foray in cinema with Mads Mikkelsen starrer, Arctic. Bleecker Street premiered the official trailer on Thursday which you can now check out above featuring Mikkelsen and actress María Thelma Smáradóttir.
Production is currently underway in Toronto for the new action thriller, Polar following its announcement late last year. Swedish helmer Jonas Åkerlund is directing with a script by Jayson Rothwell that sees actor Mads Mikkelsen leading a cast now confirmed by an exclusive at Deadline that also lists Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical franchise), Kathryn Winnick (Vikings series) and Matt Lucas (Alice In Wonderland).
Based on the 2013 Dark Horse publication from creator Victor Santos, Mikkelsen stars as the world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla (a.k.a. The Black Kaizer). Upon settling into retirement looming, he learns his employer sees him as a liability, forcing him back in the game to protect an innocent woman with a squad of younger, faster and hungry killers hot on their tail.
Polar hails from Netflix and Constantin Films whose Robert Kulzer is producing along with Jeremy Bolt and Hartley Gorenstein. Mikkelsen is executive producing next to Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson, and Keith Goldberg with Martin Moszkowicz executive producing.
Variety’s Thursday exclusive comes less than a week before Mister Smith Entertainment presents the project to international buyers at this year’s 36th American Film Market in Santa Monica, California which launches on November 1. Constantin Films’s Robert Kulzer, Bolt Pictures’s Jeremy Bolt, Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson, and Keith Goldberg with Martin Moszkowicz executive producing.
Following the foundation of the Galactic Empire, a wayward band of Rebel fighters comes together to carry out a desperate mission: to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s rule.
The film opens on December 16, leaving at least another year before the next canon follow-up, Star Wars VIII opens theatrically and testing the economic might of the movie going public. We’ll see how this one does though, as good as it looks so far with respect to its place in the saga and overall vision in general; The attention to detail with specific characters, costumes, lensing, set pieces and performances really lend a richness in the tone thusfar, so my own expectations are pretty positive here.
This week’s Hit List is going to have a few amazing updates from previous posts. Hopefully you’ve been keeping up, but I’ll gladly give a few refreshers.
For now, if you’ve been with me before, you already know how this goes. Ten new select stunt and training reels are here for your viewing pleasure courtesy of Katie Kramer, Michael Lehr, Marina Yordanova, Blake Lee Roach, Jessica Erin Bennett, Liam Day, Dale Girard, Kai Ferris, Alejandro Gil and Ian Van Temperly.
Onto some crazy new promotional bits, and up first are a few updates with a neat little exclusive pictoral courtesy of filmmaker Logan Cross. The photos are locations that will be used come this May when production finally commences for the new feature-length superhero action adventure, Nightshadow.
If you’re not too familiar with its roots, you can click here to learn more about the project which initially launched via Kickstarter which successfully managed to achieve iys crowdfunding goals for specific services to be rendered (i.e, costumes, prop creation for the performers, etc.). Pre-production is currently underway with an official website now live and running, and Cross is allowing Film Combat Syndicate to share some exclusive recent behind-the-scenes photos from location scouting in East Texas which you can view below.
View post on imgur.com
Next up is a poster for a project that you’ll be sure to take note of in the coming months. Thanks to filmmaking duo Adam Davis and Will Corona Pilgrim, the new shortfilm, No Touching is well on its way after filming last year following a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2014. Action actresses Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker are our chosen few who decide to take matters into their own hands when they learn of women being assaulted in a shady haunted house attraction.
It’ll be awhile before we see some more from this lot, but the artwork should lend you quite the eyeful until then.
As for trailers, the first one is a doozy if you’re a Lara Croft fan like filmmaker Aurélien Sallé who launched a KissKissBankBank crowdfunder in 2013 to help his own shortfilm become a reality. That reality now comes in the form of actress and cosplayer Tiphaine Vaudable’s starring role in the new fan film, Tomb Raider: Reborn with action sequences by Kefi Abrikh who defintely knows his way around fight scenes.
The second comes courtesy of independent filmmaker Cullen Cook whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making late last year among several at Applebees in Times Square, New York City where they were attending the Urban Action Showcase & Expo at the neighboring AMC Empire 25 theatre. There, he premiered his latest shortfilm, The Exit Wound, centered on a boxer forced to come to terms with his past amid a culmination of personal and professional problems.
Having won Best Action Sequence at the UASE, the project is finally on par to release online on March 23. Cook himself stars along with actress DeShawna Phillips and co-stars Rising Tiger Films’s own Leroy Nguyen and Edmond Shum who designed the action.
Watch both trailers below!
And now for the fights and there are quite several of them. For this, we begin with an always warm welcome for Eric Nguyen, here and now with Everlast, the 14th entry of his Fighting Journey series and stunt woman Molly McIntyre returning for a second round. Next up is a 2-for-1 special from Emmanuel Manzanares with performances by Suzuki Kimmy, Michael Lehr, Micah Karns and Tony Vittorioso, followed by two fencing pieces – one from French indie action favorite Godefroy Ryckewaert, and the other from Jeff Centauri with a Star Wars fan film of his own. The latter three include an action comedy bit led by Taylor Tai from Eunoia Creations as he battles YouTube Comments In Real Life, another from a fun group of stunties in Saudi Arabia called Stunt Guys Team titled Thieves, and the latter from filmmaker Vlad Rimburg returning with another week of fine, hearty action for Throwdown, led by Antal Kalik!
Getting right down to the wire here are a fine group of shortfilms and they’re all well worth the audience. First up is titled Captured courtesy of the A/M Show channel, followed by award-winning actor Mads Mikkelssen in his third shortfilm stint with Danish interior design company BoConcept titled The Fight!
Third in line introduces actor and dancer Daniel “Cloud” Campos to the Film Combat Syndicate Hit List, now sharing directorial duties with Spencer Susser for the imaginative TropFest 24 award-winning feat of music and action, Shiny. From there, we acquaint ourselves once more with Joseph Le who clearly takes his cues from Hong Kong comedy in his own three-way pizza free-for-all, The Last Slice, before getting into some bounty huntin’ trouble in Wadi Jones’s new action comedy short, Bounty, and an epic new fan short from the folks over at Martial Club attributed to Yuen Woo-Ping’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny.
The final piece in the playlist is 23-minute ode to action and suspense from partnering Canucks Kyle Wong and Joshua Zacharias for the new thriller, Vendetta. Wong himself has a knack for writing some pretty interesting scripts that introduce really darkly-toned characters and so his vision here seems fitting. There are several kinks throughout the film between audio as well as some of the action, but I was instantly sold on the trailer so I’m compelled to share it regardless and I think you’ll enjoy it for just the overall performances and story in general.
Enjoy the playlist!
Take heed of these channels, subscribe and head over here for last week’s entries if you missed them. And, be advised – we love sharing new and awesome shorts as jam-packed with action and pure talent, so if you have a stunt reel or a project you would like added here, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!