John Hurt joins Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia'

Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland also cast in disaster movie

CANNES -- Lars von Trier has completed casting on his new disaster movie "Melancholia," adding John Hurt to a cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who won the best actress prize in Cannes last year with von Trier's shocker "Antichrist."

Father and son Stellan and Alexander Skarsgard as well as von Trier regular Udo Kier complete the cast of the $7.5 million production, which starts shooting July 19 in Trollhattan, Sweden.

A 2011 Cannes Competition slot is all but guaranteed for "Melancholia," though von Trier will have a hard time topping the scandal he set off with "Antichrist" in 2009.

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Peter A. Jensen, head of von Trier's production firm, Zentropa, and an executive producer on the project, described "Melancholia" as a "beautiful film about the end of the world," but was cagey about disclosing any plot points. He would only hint that the story hinged on a "large object from outer space approaching Earth" that affects the planet's inhabitants.

Zentropa Denmark is producing Melancholia together with Slot Machine in France, Zentropa International in Cologne, Sweden's Memfis Film and Trollhattan Film. Meta Louise Foldager, who produced "Antichrist," and Louise Vesth ("Zoomers") will produce. TrustNordisk is handling sales.
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