By Simon Dang | The Playlist February 13, 2012 at 4:16PM
With the 62nd Annual Berlin International Film Festival in full swing, we've got more first look images from various pictures debuting at the Berlinale.
Best known to Western audiences as Le Chiffre in the Bond reboot pics "Casino Royale" and "Quantum Of Solace," Dane Mads Mikkelsen was actually the discovery of "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn, who cast him as the lead in his "Pusher" films as well as the social drama "Bleeder." Mikkelsen has since gone on to become a bona fide leading man, starring in two films by Susanne Bier ("Open Heart," "After The Wedding") and this he year drops by the Berlin Film Festival in an 18th century royal romantic drama by fellow Dane Nikolaj Arcel.
"A Royal Affair" also co-stars David Dencik ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy") alongside Alicia Vikander ("Anna Karenina"), Trine Dyrholm (the female lead "In a Better World") and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, and follows the love affair between German physician Johann Friedrich Struensee (Mikkelsen) and the of Danish Queen Caroline Mathilde (Vikander), an English princess who at 15 was married to Denmark’s King Christian VII. "A Royal Affair" is evidently a passion project for helmer Arcel, who prepped it for four years until it grew legs courtesy of backing from Lars Von Trier's Zentropa Entertainments shingle. Film premieres at Berlin this Thursday.
Another film premiering at the festival is Barnaby Southcombe's noir-thriller "I, Anna" starring the talented U.K. thesps Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, Hayley Atwell and Eddie Marsan. The project is based on the novel by Elsa Lewin and will be told from the point of view of a femme fatale (Rampling) who falls for the detective in charge of a murder case. Southcombe also wrote the script for the film, which screened for the first time last night.
Finally, the Berlinale is also host to the return of Jet Li in Tsui Hark's remake of "Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate." The picture follows a Ming dynasty general (Li) who battles a power-hungry eunuch for control of an inn, and it hopefully sees Li's return to extravagant Eastern actioners after a largely unimpressive stint of doing the same in Hollywood. Zhou Xun, Aloys Chen Kun, Li Yuchun and Kwai Lun-Mei all co-star in the film which is getting the IMAX 3D treatment at least in China where it's due to hit theaters in December. It'll play to audiences in Germany starting this Friday though.