‘The Promised Land’ Trailer: Mads Mikkelsen Is A War Hero Out To Conquer Denmark

While Mads Mikkelsen has been part of his share of blockbusters, such as Rogue OneFantastic Beasts, and the most recent Indiana Jones, he’s got a long history of Danish dramas, too. One of those, 2012’s A Royal Affair, was a breakthrough and paired him for the first time with director Nikolaj Arcel, known for the original Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Well, now Mikkelsen and Arcel are together again for The Promised Land, which had its world premiere at Venice, and is Denmark’s entry for the Best International Feature award at the Oscars.

Mikkelsen is so good at playing men driven with a singular, passionate goal, and this is no different. He plays the real-life Ludvig Kahlen, a soldier whose lifelong dream is to cultivate the barren Jutland heath, please the King, and achieve honor and wealth. This nearly impossible task is further complicated by a vengeful landowner.

The cast includes Simon Bennebjerg, Melina Hagberg, and Amanda Collin.

Here’s the synopsis: In 18th century Denmark, Captain Ludvig Kahlen – a proud, ambitious, but impoverished war hero — sets out to tame a vast, uninhabitable land on which seemingly nothing can grow. He seeks to start farming crops, build a colony in the name of the King, and gain a noble title for himself. This beautiful but forbidding area also happens to be under the rule of the merciless Frederik De Schinkel, a preening nobleman who realizes the threat Kahlen represents to his power. Struggling against the elements and local brigands, Kahlen is joined by a couple who have fled the clutches of the rapacious De Schinkel. As this group of misfits begins to build a small community in this inhospitable place, De Schinkel swears vengeance, and the confrontation between him and Kahlen promises to be as violent and intense as these two men.

Arcel most recently directed the 2017 disaster, The Dark Tower, quite possibly the worst recent Stephen King adaptation. It just goes to show that one high-profile dud doesn’t always short circuit a career.

The Promised Land opens in theaters on February 2nd 2024.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.