Jensen has worked as a co-writer with Susanne Bier and Lone Scherfig and directed three projects himself: Flickering Lights, The Green Butchers and Adam's Apples. But he had never collaborated with Trier before.
In fact, two years ago, Trier criticised Jensen for making Danish scriptwriting too contrived and trivial. A media debate ensued about the future of Danish film and the colliding worlds of broad commercial films and art films.
Peter Aalbaek Jensen, co-owner of Zentropa and Trier's producer, also said he was surprised about the collaboration. 'We had to have 90 pages to present to the financers and Lars was a little bit reticent to write before knowing who the actors were, but we couldn't get international actors before we had a script,' Aalbaek Jensen says.
'[Lars and I were talking] and I proposed to hire Anders Thomas Jensen and they wrote the script in a week flat. Lars was surprised about how clever Jensen was. I knew that -- but of course I had taken the effort to talk to the man before badmouthing his films. The Lars attack on Anders Thomas Jensen was stupid to begin with.'
Executive producer Aalbaek Jensen is still working on the final financing of Antichrist, planned to be an international production with three marquee names. The horror project was revived recently after von Trier had scrapped earlier plans for the film two years ago after Aalbaeck Jensen revealed plot points to reporters.