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Ezra Miller May Star In Film About Norwegian Black Metal Band Mayhem From Japanese Helmer Shion Sono

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 22, 2012 at 8:20AM

In only a few short years, 19-year-old Ezra Miller has become something of a poster child for American independent film. The young actor has had his flirtations with the mainstream -- he appeared on "Californication" and on "Royal Pains," and was courted by Warner Bros for "Akira" before the project fell apart. But for the most part, since his breakthrough in Antonio Campos' "Afterschool," he's been leaning on the independent side of the fence, with projects including "City Island," "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and the upcoming duo of "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" and "Madame Bovary." And he looks to continue in that vein, announcing that he's in discussions with one of international cinema's most uncompromising filmmakers for a picture with fascinating subject matter.
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Ezra Miller Sion Sono

In only a few short years, 19-year-old Ezra Miller has become something of a poster child for American independent film. The young actor has had his flirtations with the mainstream -- he appeared on "Californication" and on "Royal Pains," and was courted by Warner Bros for "Akira" before the project fell apart. But for the most part, since his breakthrough in Antonio Campos' "Afterschool," he's been leaning on the independent side of the fence, with projects including "City Island," "We Need To Talk About Kevin" and the upcoming duo of "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower" and "Madame Bovary." And he looks to continue in that vein, announcing that he's in discussions with one of international cinema's most uncompromising filmmakers for a picture with fascinating subject matter.

In an interview with Vulture, Miller says that he's met with Japanese helmer Shion Sono ("Love Exposure," "Cold Fish") about the possibility of collaborating on a project. Miller tells the site "I'm talking with Shion Sono about doing a movie together. He's this Japanese director who is just a madman. He did 'Guilty of Romance.' He’s making a film about the post-earthquake-tsunami radiation crisis in Japan called 'The Land of Hope.' I saw [his 2001 film] 'Suicide Club' when I was really young and it really disturbed me permanently, which has defined most things that I like as an artist... He’s planning to make a movie about a Norwegian black metal band called Mayhem that is, in my opinion, the craziest story in rock and roll history. It's got church burnings, and a former band member murdered a current band member. Basically Shion Sono and I met each other and pretty much exchanged faithful vows, so I'm really excited for that to happen."

For the uninitiated, Mayhem was a Norwegian band in the 1980s, known better for their off-stage story than their on: vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin (also known as 'Dead') killed himself in 1991 (at which point bandmate Øystein Aarseth, known as Euronymous, took photos of the corpse rather than calling the police), while Euronymous and Varg Vikernes (Count Grishnackh) plotted to burn down churches together, a plan only stopped when Vikernes stabbed Euronymous to death. 

As such, it sounds like perfect source material for Sono, whose films can be abrasive to the point of being unwatchable, while never letting go of a certain poetry (this writer spent most of his viewing of the director's most recent film, "Himizu," fighting the urge to walk out, only to grow fond of it in the days afterwards). And one can't think of a more appropriate Western lead than Miller, although it's unclear if the actor would be speaking in English or Norwegian. Either way, while the film is clearly a ways off yet, and sounds entirely nuts, we can't help but hope it happens at some stage.

And speaking of Sono, Twitch have the teaser trailer for his latest film, "The Land of Hope," which like "Himizu" is a reaction to the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, albeit with a more positive spin this time. The trailer is brief and rather oblique, but nevertheless you can catch it below.  

This article is related to: Sion Sono, Ezra Miller


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