Nikolaj Arcel

Nicolaj Arcel
Born (1972-08-25) 25 August 1972
Copenhagen, Denmark
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active Since 2002

Nikolaj Arcel (born 25 August 1972) is a Danish filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for his 2012 film A Royal Affair which won two prizes at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. He is currently based in Hollywood where he is working on a feature adaptation of Don Winslow's The Power of the Dog[1] and a remake of Hitchcock's Rebecca for Dreamworks.[2]

Early life

Arcel was born and raised in Copenhagen to a psychologist mother and an architect father who divorced when he was seven. His elder sister is the actress Nastja Arcel. He attended Bernadotte School in Hellerup and secondary school at Øster Borgerdyd Gymnasium.[3] He then enrolled at the National Film School of Denmark from where he graduated as film director in 2001. His graduation project, the short film Woyzeck’s Last Symphony, won the Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.[4]


Arcel made his debut in 2004 with the political thriller King's Game, which won him the award for Best Director at the Danish Film Academy Awards. It was followed by the adventure film Island of Lost Souls in 2007 and the generational comedy Truth About Men in 2010.[5]

After experiencing an international breakthrough with A Royal Affair, he moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in filmmaking there. Arcel will be directing the movie Fables for Warner Bros..[6] On June 3, 2015, he was announced to direct the film-adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger. This first installment will be released on January 13, 2017. The film began principal photography in early 2016.


Feature films



Short film

Television series


Academy Awards
Golden Globe Awards
Berlin International Film Festival
César Awards


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