Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' Pre-Sells to Russia

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Stellan Skarsgard expected to star in hard-core porno project about female sexuality.

COLOGNE, Germany - Russian distributor Central Partnership has snatched up rights to Lars von Trier's new project, Nymphomaniac, an exploration of female sexuality that the Danish director is expected to deliver in both soft and hard-core versions. TrustNordisk closed the Russian deal to kick off its presale push for Nymphomaniac at the Toronto Film Festival. Von Trier's latest, Melancholia, had its North American premiere in Toronto Thursday.

Nymphomaniac is still in pre-production - von Trier hopes to begin shooting next summer - but a few details of the project have leaked out. Long-time von Trier collaborator Stellan Skarsgard has said the controversial director has asked him to play the male lead. The film will be shot in English and produced outside of Denmark - likely in Sweden or Germany, where von Trier typically gets a sizable chunk of the financing for his movies. To accommodate censors, von Trier is believed to be planning both a hardcore cut of the film and an softer version for mainstream release. Structurally, Nymphomaniac will be divided up into eight chapters with titles such as "The Western and Eastern Church" and "The Little Organ School."

Despite its pornographic title and expected content, Nymphomaniac will reportedly be largely dialogue-driven. Nymphomaniac's producer, and von Trier's business partner, Peter Aalbaek Jensen, said the film will be "very erotic but very funny also." He added that the extent of the pornographic content may be determined by the financing.

One big, unanswered, question is whether von Trier will submit Nymphomaniac to the Cannes Film Festival. After his quips about Nazis and Hitler at a press conference for Melancholia this year, Cannes declared von Trier a persona non grata, banning him (though technically not his films) for life.