Nymphomaniac to be hardcore only as Lars von Trier gives up final cut

Unable to cut his sexually explicit film down from five hours, Danish director opts to let someone else cut the movie down to two, two-hour chunks – both including explicit footage

Lars Von Trier has abandoned plans to release a softcore version of his sex epic Nymphomaniac. The film's two-part four-hour cut, which is due to debut in Copenhagen on Christmas Day, will now contain explicit scenes.

The release of Nymphomaniac will see the Danish director give up final cut for the first time in his career. The decision was apparently taken after Von Trier said he was unwilling to trim the two-part film's current five and a half hour running time himself. Nymphomaniac's strange fate is detailed in an extended making-of feature in the Danish film magazine Filmmagasinet Ekko which was picked up by the Hollywood Reporter.

"The short version is against Lars' own will, but he accepts it because he understands market mechanisms," says Von Trier's long-term producing partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen in the magazine article. "You cannot make a film for more than 60 million kroners (about $11 million or £6.9 million) that is so lengthy. Five and a half hours is so extreme that it reduces market value so radically that investors would have felt they had bought a pig in a poke."

It is extremely unusual a director of the artistic clout of Von Trier to allow somebody else to complete their vision, particularly on such a singular project as Nymphomaniac. It is not known if the longer five-and-a-half-hour cut will ever be released, and Jensen refused to confirm if Von Trier would take it to next year's Cannes film festival.

Nymphomaniac, which stars the film-maker's regular muse Charlotte Gainsbourg in the lead, has been billed as an exploration of the erotic life of a woman from infancy to middle age. Digital trickery and body doubles have reportedly been used to portray famous stars such as Uma Thurman, Stellan Skarsgård, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell and Shia LaBeouf having sex.

A teaser trailer for the much anticipated film was briefly removed from YouTube earlier this month after apparently falling foul of the site's rules on nudity and sexual content.

More on Nymphomaniac

Nymphomaniac clip removed from Youtube
Vote for your favourite Nymphomaniac orgasm poster


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Lars von Trier used body doubles to shoot Nymphomaniac

Rather than having sex live on camera, stars of Danish director's upcoming film were played by stand-ins from the waist down

Ben Child

21, May, 2013 @9:50 AM

Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac arouses debate as a 'really bad porn movie'

Threesomes, sadomasochism and a penis montage … outspoken Danish director skips Copenhagen screening of sex addict film, as actor Stellan Skarsgård speaks up for long-time collaborator, reports Xan Brooks

Xan Brooks

05, Dec, 2013 @3:31 PM

Article image
Nymphomaniac – first look review

Lars Von Trier's sex epic is a four-hour cold shower, but it ravishes the brain and leaves you begging for more, writes Xan Brooks

Xan Brooks

17, Dec, 2013 @12:57 PM

Article image
Nymphomaniac Vols I & II – review | Mark Kermode

Lars von Trier's controversial sex epic veers wildly between the profound and the ridiculous, writes Mark Kermode

Mark Kermode

23, Feb, 2014 @9:00 AM

Article image
Nymphomaniac: read the exclusive first chapter of Lars Von Trier's new film

The Guardian exclusively unveils the first chapter – titled The Compleat Angler – of the new film from Lars Von Trier

27, Jun, 2013 @8:58 AM

Article image
Nymphomaniac stars: 'Lars isn't a misogynist, he loves women'

Xan Brooks: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin and Stellan Skarsgård reveal what it was like to work with Lars von Trier on his explicit new film, and why it is unfair to describe it as arthouse exploitation

Xan Brooks

06, Feb, 2014 @1:04 PM

Article image
Lars von Trier may return to Cannes with Nymphomaniac

Hardcore version of von Trier's sex epic could be saved for next spring debut, with softcore cut due to premiere this winter

Catherine Shoard

19, Sep, 2013 @3:34 PM

Article image
The Nymphomaniac: when the first still is an anticlimax

Lars von Trier's avowedly hardcore film The Nymphomaniac has released its first image – but does it really whet appetites for what has promised to be one of the most controversial films ever?

Andrew Pulver

06, Feb, 2013 @12:23 PM

Article image
Nymphomaniac orgasm posters literally show what's coming soon

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman and Christian Slater among stars apparently enjoying a moment of orgasm in the latest promo for Lars Von Trier's latest movie

Ben Child

10, Oct, 2013 @1:57 PM

Article image
Nymphomaniac (Volumes 1 and 2) – review

An appealing odd-couple relationship is at the heart of this heartfelt study of sex addiction with few of the director's usual provocations, writes Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw

20, Feb, 2014 @12:17 PM