The Kingdom, Lars von Trier's cult TV show from the 1990s that's the Scandinavian answer to Twin Peaks, will be getting a third and final season. Von Trier will direct the five-episode season in 2021. The show was a heady combination of medical drama, soap opera, gothic horror, social satire, ghost story, political commentary, satanic horror, Lovecraftian cosmic horror, and all-out Cronenbergian body horror. Von Trier had always been upfront about being influenced by David Lynch's Twin Peaks in the creation of the show.
The cult show, set in a Copenhagen hospital that served as an allegory for Denmark, was originally released in Europe as two 4-episode seasons and then a five-hour movie in some territories, was originally going to run for three seasons but never completed due in part to the deaths of key cast members Ernst-Hugo Järegård and Kirsten Rolffes, who played, respectively, the uptight and fascistic Swedish doctor and the heroic psychic lady who's the show's equivalent of Agent Cooper. Von Trier's production company Zentropa is keeping the details under wraps but did say the new series will feature a mix of new and returning characters.
Von Trier has written the new scripts with original co-writer Niels Vørsel and will direct all five episodes under the title The Kingdom Exodus. Plot details are unknown but it is expected to explore unsolved stories of the hospital as well as reigniting old feuds between the Swedes and the Danes. That strand of the show has been a prominent thread, satirizing the age-old cultural rivalry between Denmark and Sweden.
Louise Vesth is producing through Zentropa Entertainments and the show is a collaboration between Viaplay, DR, and Zentropa with financial support from Film i Väst and Nordisk Film & TV Fond among others. The 3rd season is planned for 2022 and will debut in Denmark on streamer Viaplay along with restored versions of the eight episodes from the first and second series will also be re-released. The original two seasons were remade by Stephen King into the extremely forgettable and long-forgotten 13-episode U.S. drama Kingdom Hospital in 2004.
This will be von Trier's first directing work since The House That Jack Built, which was released in 2018, and his first small-screen endeavor since the early 2000s. He released a typically cryptic statement: "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."