Blixen’s Ehrengard adapts into Netflix feature film
August 31, 2021
Netflix has announced Ehrengard, a new Danish Netflix feature film directed by Academy Award, Golden Globe and two-time Palme d’Or winner Bille August. The film is based on Ehrengard, one of the last works of Karen Blixen (1885-1962). Anders August is the scriptwriter and Marcella Dichmann at SF Studios is producing. The project has been developed over the last decade by Jacob Jørgensen and JJ Film.
In the fairytale kingdom of Babenhausen, a young, self-appointed expert on love, Cazotte, is hired by the scheming Grand Duchess to help her secure an heir. While searching for a suitable future Princess, Cazotte teaches the timid and introverted Crown Prince the art of seduction and lovemaking. But their plan soon backfires, when an heir is conceived out of wedlock and the royal family has to seek refuge in the castle of Rosenbad. Here, as rivals within the royal family close in on their scheme, Cazotte himself falls in love with Ehrengard, the maid of honour, and gradually learns that in fact, he’s no expert on love at all.
Ehrengard will feature set design by Queen Margrethe II. Since 1970, The Queen has been actively engaged in a number of artistic modes of expression: painting, church textiles, watercolours, prints, book illustrations, découpage works, scenography and embroidery. She is an honorary member of the Association of Danish Scenographers for her many years of work as a set designer in Danish film, television and theater.
Bille August, director, says: “Ehrengard being realized as a Netflix film is a grand opportunity – and I’m really looking forward to introducing this fascinating story of seduction and desire to a global audience. The Queen has created the most fantastic decoupages for the occasion, and they will be the dominant feature of the film’s overall scenographic expression. ”Fantastic” (in the most literal sense) is our starting point for the film; we wish to use humour and elegance to create a devil-may-care, burlesque, fabulous and autonomous visual universe.”
Queen Margrethe II: “Karen Blixen’s stories have always fascinated me, with their aesthetic tales, their imagination and their, to me, image-creating worlds – and I’m very happy to be part of this project. You can feel that the author was a visual artist just like H.C. Andersen. But who is Ehrengard? One of Karen Blixen’s intriguing female characters and one of the few whose story ends happily. The intrigues weave themselves in and out of each other and Blixen spins her spin around the characters until we (and they) are completely nonplussed. How will the riddle be solved? I have tried to interpret Blixen’s fantastic universe in the creation of the découpages and costumes and I’m looking forward to seeing the tale of Ehrengard come to life in this film.”
Lina Brounéus, director co-production & acquisition EMEA at Netflix: “I am proud and thrilled to bring Ehrengard to life on Netflix. With such a strong creative team in Bille August and Anders August, our close partners SF Studios producing combined with the extraordinary decoupages from Queen Margrethe II, I feel confident that this timeless tale will be just as epic, ingenious and witty as Karen Blixen’s masterpiece from 1962.”
Marcella Dichmann, producer at SF Studios: “I am deeply honoured to be part of this wonderful project, about a woman’s clever response to male seduction. Bille August is an icon of Scandinavian film and together with the decoupages created by Queen Margrethe II, the vision is strong for this film. For me it is an amazing privilege working with this film and together with Netflix being able to share it globally.”