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Annual Top Films Lists

Through the Looking-Glass…Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2016: #3. Fabrice du Welz’s Message From the King

Message From the King

Director: Fabrice du Welz // Writers: Oliver Butcher, Stephen Cornwell

Belgian director Fabrice du Welz announced himself with a memorable debut over a decade ago with 2004’s Calvaire, a film meant to be the first chapter in his loosely related Ardennes trilogy. Fascinating, bizarre, and perhaps the most successfully strange and unnerving auteur since Lynch, du Welz’s next two features were treated to problematic releases, including 2008’s underrated Vinyan, and the 2014 debacle, Colt 45, which was yanked out of the director’s hands and released in France (it has yet to reach the US). But 2014 also marked a strong return for du Welz with the excellent Alleluia, the second part of his Ardennes trilogy, reuniting him with star Laurent Lucas and providing Lola Duenas with one of the best roles of her career. It was announced that du Welz was also working on another feature, Children of the Gun, but it looks like that has taken a back seat for his next production, Message From the King, which will be his English language debut and stars Chadwick Boseman (42; Get on Up). Little is known about the plot except that Boseman will play a mysterious outsider named Jacob King from South Africa who arrives in Los Angeles to avenge his younger sister’s death.

Cast: Chadwick Boseman

Producers: EOne’s Xavier Marchand and Benedict Carver, Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell and Simon Cornwell, David Lancaster, Ash Shah will exec produce.

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: With Boseman starring, this is sure to get considerable traction, and might even be a hot title at Sundance 2016 since filming is set for earlier in 2015.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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