Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom revived for long-awaited third and final season

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Back in 1994, Lars von Trier drew inspiration from David Lynch's Twin Peaks and the French mini-series Phantom of the Louvre (a.k.a. Belphegor) to create a Danish television mini-series called The Kingdom, or Riget. A sequel mini-series followed in 1997, then von Trier and Kingdom collaborator Niels Vorsel wrote the scripts for a third and final mini-series. Sadly, the third mini-series was never able to go into production because several members of the show's cast died within a short period of time.

More than twenty years later, von Trier and Vorsel are finally going to be able to finish the story of The Kingdom. The show is being revived for a five episode run under the title The Kingdom Exodus.

Producers Zentropa say the the new mini-series will feature a mixture of old and new characters. Von Trier will be directing all five episodes, with production expected to take place in 2021. The Kingdom Exodus will premiere on the Danish streamer Viaplay sometime in 2022, and the eight episodes of the first and second mini-series are also getting a re-release.

Released as a five hour movie in some territories, The Kingdom was about 

doctors at an ultramodern hospital in Denmark becoming convinced, by way of weird, inexplicable happenings, that the place is haunted.

The Kingdom Exodus will 

explore unsolved stories of the hospital as well as reigniting old feuds between the Swedes and the Danes.

Back in 2004, The Kingdom received a U.S. remake called Kingdom Hospital, which was headed up by Stephen King. King was provided with the scripts that were written for the unproduced third mini-series, but it's not known if he actually worked ideas from those scripts into Kingdom Hospital.

Von Trier released the following statement on The Kingdom Exodus

Borders come in many forms; they may be lines drawn with rulers on white paper (often invisible to whoever chances to visit the actual geographical locations). The lines of the borders may be illustrative, if not to say quite fictitious and downright mean; they may be drawn in a soft, red color, practically invisible, and perhaps even as a dotted line, almost as if indicating an apology or even – shame. Nevertheless, the lines hang there in inconceivable numbers, and together they constitute those 'territories' that the inhabitants are strong enough to defend. Entering and leaving often entail violence, for, of course, any visitor is expected to return after ending his or her business. 

On Earth, 'the Machine that makes everything go round (all life, that is)' is dependent on the conflicts which the lines provoke, as if by design. Whether Exodus actually means 'entering' or 'leaving' depends on the angle from which the border is observed, but the word simply describes a large number of individuals crossing a pencil-drawn line together. Why?… There is an imbalance between good and evil! The limit has been reached, at least at the Kingdom… But I cannot testify that it will be easy and bloodless to pick the seven astral locks of the world simultaneously with doctor's blood."

Given that Twin Peaks was an inspiration for The Kingdom, it seems fitting that The Kingdom is coming back after twenty-plus years, just like Twin Peaks did.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.