Since his turn as Le Chiffre in 2006’s “Casino Royale,” Mads Mikkelsen has gradually ascended to Hollywood stardom. His film career started much earlier than that, though. His film debut was back in Nicolas Winding Refn‘s 1996 film “Pusher,” also Refn’s directing debut, and the actor has been a mainstay in Danish cinema ever since.
Not everyone in the Danish film industry achieves the crossover appeal in the U.S. market as Mikkelsen and Refn have. That’s the case with Anders Thomas Jensen, a frequent collaborator of Mikkelsen’s and the writer/director of his next film, “Riders of Justice.” Despite a couple of Oscar wins for Best Live Action Short in the late 2000s and supplying the screenplay for 2007 Best Foreign Film nominee, “The New Tenants,” Jensen has yet to find commercial stateside success.
Maybe “Riders of Justice” will change that. Following Jensen’s usual black comedy formula, the film stars Mikkelsen as a military man who seeks revenge for his wife’s death in a suspicious trainwreck. Here’s the official synopsis:
RIDERS OF JUSTICE follows recently-deployed Markus, who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a revenge-fueled mission to find those responsible.
“Riders of Justice” also stars frequent Jensen collaborators Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Nicolas Bro. Mikkelsen and Kaas have starred in all five of Jensen’s feature films. Andrea Heick Gadeberg, Lars Brygamann, Gustav Lindh, and Roland Møller round out the main cast.
Jensen, primarily known as a prolific screenwriter in Denmark, only has two notable recent credits in US distribution: 2014’s “The Salvation,” starring Mikkelsen, and the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower.”
It’s worth noting that “Riders of Justice” beat Thomas Vinterberg‘s “Another Year” for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film in Denmark last year. That may be a harbinger of success for Jensen and his movie, as Vinterberg and “Another Year” are both nominated for Best Director and Best International Feature Film at this year’s Academy Awards.
Will another strong Mads Mikkelsen performance bring success in the US for Arthur Thomas Jensen? Find out in May when “Riders of Justice” hits theaters in select cities May 14 and everywhere May 21.