Lords of Chaos is a 2018 black comedy-drama directed by Jonas Åkerlund and written by Dennis Magnusson and Åkerlund. It stars Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, and Sky Ferreira. It is based on the 1998 non-fiction book of the same name by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind, which follows a series of crimes that occurred in Oslo, Norway in the early 1990s surrounding the black metal bands MAYHEM and BURZUM. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It is scheduled to be released on February 8, 2019 by Gunpowder and Sky.
During a brand new question-and-answer session with BUILD Series (see video below), Culkin stated about how he prepared for the role: “With Euronymous, I spoke to people that hung out with him at the time. And there’s so many photos of these guys. They were really good at documenting themselves. So there was a lot of photographs. And Jonas even made a picture script — it was like a 600-page script — and every scene was assigned a photo from that time. So there was a lot to work with.
“At first, it was hard to keep track of all these characters, with names like Hellhammer and Necrobutcher and things like that,” he continued. “But it was the photos that was the most important to me. Because when Euronymous was posing in the photos, he was trying to look scary and he was trying to look evil. But when you see him in the background in the photos, he was like a little sweetie — he was giggling and stuff like that. So it was interesting to try to piece that together — what he wanted to show the world and then what he really was, which I think was a bit of a sweetheart… He was the self-proclaimed leader of Norwegian black metal, and there’s something fun to that — moving heavy things without lifting a finger, and things like that. It’s pretty fun to have a crew of giant long-haired dudes to do your bidding.”
Jonas said that he wanted to keep “Lords Of Chaos” raw and steeped in the undramatic nature of reality, most notably in the murder scenes. “I kind of had that attitude to everything in the movie,” he explained. “I wanted to be as true as I possibly could to everything… And these extreme ups and downs in the story, it’s very important to feeling for the characters and understanding. The good thing, like Rory said, they were very good at taking pictures. There was a lot of research material for us. And for the murder scenes, there was police reports, so those were actually the easiest ones for me to research. I knew what happened. I knew how it happened. So that was easy, to follow that… Again, I just wanted it to be as real as I possibly could. And we shot it old school too — it’s all pumps and blood and prosthetics. So we did it very old-school way, which kind of makes it look even better, I think.”