EXCLUSIVE: The project, tracing the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to 50, will shoot in Germany this summer

In the wake of reports that Charlotte Gainsbourg is set to star in Lars von Trier’s  Nymphomaniac, producer and Zentropa co-founder Peter Aalbæk Jensen has revealed that the film is to be two separate feature-length parts.

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Shooting on both films is due to begin in August near Cologne, with the project supported by North-Rhein Westphalia.

“We are making two films. It is a big operation. I personally hope that we should be ready for Cannes next year,” Aalbæk Jensen commented. “We will shoot both and edit both – and we want to finish both at the same time.”

As previously reported, there are likely to be two versions of each film: one which will be explicit and one which will be softer. “We will probably blur the central points of the human body for the release worldwide but we will probably make one unblurred that will be for screening maybe in Cannes.”

The film traces the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to 50. The first part will deal with her childhood and adolescence. The second part will deal with her adulthood.

Aalbæk Jensen would not confirm casting but said “we have some pretty big names in the movie which proves that in spite of his (von Trier’s) strange quotes from Cannes last year, his value for actors to work with him has never been better.”

In terms of the storytelling style, Aalbæk Jensen said the film will “be in a mixed style. Some will be Dogme hand-held and some will have very carefully made photography, crane shots and beautiful images. It will be very much mixed.”

TrustNordisk has already pre-sold the project widely.

After the controversy that dogged von Trier in Cannes last year, Aalbæk Jensen said that Zentropa and its staff were “extremely proud” that Thomas Vinterberg was back in competition this year with The Hunt. “That proves also that the relationship between Zentropa and the Cannes Film Festival is great,” he said.

The Hunt marks Vinterberg’s return to Cannes 14 years after his success with Festen in 1998.

Aalbæk Jensen also revealed that von Trier and Martin Scorsese are still in contact regarding their long-gestating Five Obstructions-style revisiting of Taxi Driver. “They are talking together, Lars and Scorsese.”

Other new Zentropa projects include a four-feature adaptation of the Department Q stories by crime novelist Jussi Adler-Olsen. The company is also planning to work again with Thomas Vinterberg. “We have a new film that he will start writing in the autumn,” Aalbæk Jensen said.