Brick by brick, Lars von Trier thriller The House that Jack Built is fast beginning to take shape.
Originally pitched as a TV series, the Danish auteur (Melancholia, Nymphomaniac) has re-engineered his murder mystery to be an ambitious, decade-spanning drama centering on Matt Dillon’s twisted serial killer. Wanting nothing more than to finish his self-proclaimed, and no doubt horrifying, masterpiece, Jack spends much of his life in the shadows, eluding capture all throughout the ’70s and ’80s. To date, von Trier has recruited Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Sofie Gråbøl and Riley Keough (The Girlfriend Experience, Logan Lucky) to the cause, and Deadline now brings word of two new additions: Uma Thurman and Siobhan Fallon Hogan.
Both actresses have worked with the provocative filmmaker in the past; Thurman recently had a role in the two-part saga Nymphomaniac, whereas Hogan worked under von Trier on both Dancer in the Dark and Dogville. The House That Jack Built represents a different kettle of fish, though. While describing the nail-biting thriller back at Berlin, the director said that his upcoming effort celebrates “the idea that life is evil and soulless, which is sadly proven by the recent rise of the Homo trumpus – the rat king.” How very nihilistic.
Chronicling Jack’s wicked ways over the course of 12 years, The House That Jack Built places a laser focus on five incidents that shaped his life as a serial killer. Keough, Gråbøl and now Thurman and Hogan will all play women who have the unfortunate pleasure of crossing paths with Matt Dillon’s sadistic criminal, and it’ll be fascinating to see how each actor takes to such dark material.
The House that Jack Built will be invited in front of the cameras later this month in Sweden, before von Trier’s picture uproots for Copenhagen, Denmark in May. A 2018 release date is the target.