VICE Films has announced that it has partnered with Insurgent Media, 20thCentury Fox and Chimney Pot to finance "Lords Of Chaos". VICE Films, Insurgent, Scott Free, Kwesi Dickson, Chimney Pot and Eleven Arts are set to produce the upcoming true-crime story, co-written and to be directed by Jonas Åkerlund (Beyonce: "Lemonade", THE PRODIGY: "Smack My Bitch Up"). 20th Century Fox has locked North American Rights and select international territories.
The film is the story of MAYHEM, a young Norwegian band that popularized a form of heavy metal music known as "true norwegian black metal" with a flair for publicity, church-burning, and even murder.
Rory Culkin ("Signs", "You Can Count on Me") will play Euronymous. He is joined by Emory Cohen ("Brooklyn", "The Place Beyond The Pines") as Varg, Jack Kilmer ("Palo Alto", "The Nice Guys") playing Dead, and Valter Skarsgård ("IRL", "The Black Sea") playing Faust. "Lords Of Chaos" will also feature the acting talents of Sky Ferreira (upcoming "Baby Driver", "Twin Peaks") as Ann-Marit.
Åkerlund, the original drummer of BATHORY, one of the first black metal bands, made his mark directing music videos for artists from Madonna and THE ROLLING STONES to MAROON 5 and Beyoncé. These have won him a host of awards including several Grammys, an MTV VMA, MVPA Hall Of Fame award and more. Åkerlund has also directed a number of feature films, including cult favorite "Spun" starring Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy and John Leguizamo.
VICE's Danny Gabai said: "This is a wildly freaky story that our audience has been obsessed with for years, and Jonas's brilliantly imaginative take on it is simultaneously one of the most uniquely entertaining and beautifully humanistic scripts we've seen in a long time. We couldn't be more excited to be working with Fox, Insurgent, and Scott Free on this and can't wait to unleash it on the world."
Insurgent Media's Ezna Sands said of the film: "This is a premise with unique universal appeal, a kind of 'Trainspotting' for the millennial generation, and Insurgent Media leapt at the opportunity to get 'Lords Of Chaos' onto the main stage. This is the start of a hugely exciting journey along with the teams at Fox, VICE and Scott Free."
VICE's Danny Gabai and Jim Czarnecki are producing along with Insurgent's Ezna Sands, Scott Free's Jack Arbuthnott, Chimney Pot's Frederick Zander, Kwesi Dickson and Eleven Arts' Ko Mori, with VICE Films' Eddy Moretti, Shane Smith and Vince Landay executive producing alongside Insurgent's Ashley Richardson and Scott Free's Carlo Dusi. Protagonist is handling international sales, with Fox coming on board to handle North American, U.K., Scandinavian and Brazilian rights.
"Lords Of Chaos" is described as "the terrifying story based on real events about a dream-turned-nightmare for a group of teenagers who spiral out of control." The movie will follow the life of Euronymous (a.k.a. Øystein Aarseth), the founding member of MAYHEM who was murdered in 1993 by BURZUM's Kristian "Varg" Vikernes. In the movie, Euronymous "becomes fixated on creating true 'Norwegian black metal' music with his band MAYHEM, and creates a phenomenon by using shocking stunts to put the band's name on the map. But as the lines between publicity and reality start to blur, acts of arson, violence and a vicious murder shock the nation."
"Lords Of Chaos: The Bloody Rise Of The Satanic Metal Underground" was originally published in 1998 by Feral House U.S. A second edition followed in 2003, documenting black metal activities since 1997.
Back in 2009, when initial reports surfaced that the "Lords Of Chaos" book was being turned into a movie, vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven and drummer Kjetil-Vidar "Frost" Haraldstad of the Norwegian the black metal band SATYRICON expressed their disgust over the plans. Satyr told Dagbladet.no: "Now that the focus on black metal finally has shifted towards the actual music, this gossip journalism in the shape of a book is made into a movie. Since 'Lords Of Chaos' is an incredibly bad book, I can only assume the movie will be bad as well."
He continued, "It is sad that such an inaccurate story, written by someone who doesn't understand black metal, has become a book of reference. And it is sad that someone is willing to go that far to exploit the history of black metal."
Frost added: "This is a parasitic phenomenon."