The Scandinavians Are Coming (Again): Alexander Skarsgård and Mads Mikkelsen Face Darkness and Bitter Cold in Jeremy Saulnier and Joe Penna’s Upcoming Films

Whether it’s the Scandi in me (*sputter*) or I’m just like the rest of you — mad for Mads and adore Alex — I’m always on the watch for Skarsgård and Mikkelsen projects. These two upcoming films have the added bonuses (bonusi, surely) of shared themes and locale, as well as a favorite director, and another self-starter, plus a cool, six-degrees-ish connection.

First up, a stellar cast and the long-time buddy team of director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room) and writer/actor/director, Macon Blair bring William Giraldi’s Hold the Dark to the big screen. The story of an Alaskan winter marked by wolves snatching children gets personal for Vernon (Skarsgård) and Medora (Riley Keough) Sloane, when their six-year old goes missing. Wolf expert Russell Core, played by Westworld‘s Jeffrey Wright, is called in to investigate and this being a Saulnier movie … let’s just say we know things are likely going to a terrible place.

Distributed by A24, Hold the Dark also stars James Badge Dale and James Bloor; Blair makes his inevitable appearance, and we’ll talk about that connection between the movies in a moment.

Next on the Alaskan scene is another perennial favorite, back on a One-Eye type adventure, presumably a fairly silent story since Mads Mikkelsen will be all by his lonesome through much of Arctic. Self-starter and YouTube’s MysteryGuitarMan, Brazil’s Joe Penna (Turning Point, Beyond) makes his feature directorial debut with a tale of survival vs. living. Mikkelsen plays a man stranded after a plane crash, seemingly about to be rescued and then … perhaps not, and having to decide between staying put or risking his life with a dangerous trek to possibly find help.

Written by Penna collaborator Ryan Morrisson and also starring Maria Thelma Smáradóttir, Arctic will be distributed by XYZ Films …

… which coincidentally also distributed the fantastic I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore — Macon Blair’s directorial debut.

Both films, Arctic and Hold the Dark, will potentially premiere at Cannes this May.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over eight years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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  • Sue Noe

    Love everything Alexander has been in so far, looking forward to the next one.

  • Alex is easy on the eyes & all but the Mads movie — and only Mads for most of it … is it time yet ??? <3

    • Natasha Nikitina

      didn’t get what you mean?

  • Alex is playing dads now. What a dilf. #sorry

  • Tonya McKibbon

    Mads Mikkelsen all alone in a movie…heck yeah!!! I’m ALL in. I own the movie Valhalla and I will be owning this one. Mads is beautiful, but he is also one hell of an actor.

  • KSP

    PS: If you’re a big fan of Alex and Mads, you should know they were in a film together back in 2006, called Exit. Check it out. You may just die after watching them converse in Swedish together, in the same scene, together. I almost did LOL