Despite having Parkinson’s disease and undergoing treatment for its effects, director Lars von Trier is “in high spirits.”

The announcement was made on Monday, August 8, by Zentropa Entertainment, a production firm that Von Trier and Peter Aalbaek Jensen co-founded in 1992.

In a statement to the Danish press, Von Trier’s longtime producer Louise Vesth said, “In agreement with Lars von Trier, Zentropa has chosen to publicise that Lars has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

The third and final season of the acclaimed television series The Kingdom, The Kingdom Exodus, will be finished by the writer-director of Melancholia and Nymphomaniac, it was also revealed in the statement.

Vesth reported that Lars is “in good spirits, receiving treatment for his symptoms, and the work to finish THE KINGDOM EXODUS continues as scheduled.”

The firm disclosed the news in order to allay any health-related rumours prior to the launch of the show. Von Trier was diagnosed “just before the summer holidays,” according to the statement. Due to his illness, the 66-year-old “will only take part in interviews to a very limited extent.”

Later this year, The Kingdom Exodus will be released, bringing to an end the narrative of the haunted hospital that debuted on Danish public television in 1994. Variety reports that the last part will make its debut at the Venice Film Festival, which begins on August 31. Mubi will handle distribution in North America and a number of other regions.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Von Trier’s progressive disease results from the degradation of nerve cells and can cause unintentional or involuntary movements including shaking, stiffness, and problems with balance and coordination. Others well-known people with Parkinson’s disease include singer Linda Ronstadt, boxer Muhammad Ali, and actor Michael J. Fox.

The musical Dancer In The Dark (2000), which won von Trier the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, is another film the Danish director is renowned for helming in addition to Antichrist, Dogville, and Dogville. Following his admission that he “sympathised” with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler at a press conference for Melancholia in 2011, he was notoriously banned from the festival, which is held on the French Riviera, for seven years.

In order to premiere The House That Jack Built, he went back to the festival in 2018. LA Times/Tribune News Service

 

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