From his devastating performance in 2013’s little-seen, Oscar-nominated drama The Hunt to his incredible portrayal of Hannibal Lecter on television, few actors are putting out finer work these days than Mads Mikkelsen. A massive star in his native Denmark and a face recognizable to North American audiences due to his turn as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, Mikkelsen is starting to become a major international star on the other side of the ocean. His next role is in the brutal western The Salvation, which will premiere at Cannes later this month.
Today, we have the first trailer for the film and I must say, the acting and scenery look remarkable, and despite some overwrought music, the score indicates just how tense and ruthlessly violent this western will be. Mikkelsen has become a terrific bilingual performer and even though he is best known for villainous turns, playing a wounded hero in a Western is an inspired choice for the actor.
The Salvation comes from acclaimed Danish director Kristian Levring and is set in 1870s North America. In the film, Mikkelsen plays John, an American settler from Denmark who moved west after German forces crushed their army. However, when his family is murdered, John sets off on a mission for vengeance. After murdering the culprit, he becomes a target of a notorious gang leader from a nearby town, Delarue (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The drama will be presented in English and Danish, and co-stars Eva Green (reuniting with her Casino Royale co-star Mikkelsen), Jonathan Pryce and In a Better World‘s Mikael Persbrandt.
The Salvation will be screening in a Midnight berth at the festival, indicating that there should be a lot of graphic violence. The film already has a release date in Denmark on May 22, and could come to North American audiences soon if festival buzz is strong.