Keanu Reeves leads and all-star cast. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Two years ago during the Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, acclaimed Swedish film director and writer, Ruben Östlund, who in 2022 year won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or with Triangle of Sadness last year - the second time he has won this award - told the Bulletin that his intention was to shoot his next film in Mallorca.

Ruben, who lives in Mallorca and opened last year’s Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival, said he was planning on filming The Entertainment System Is Down at Palma Airport. It now appears that it may be shot between Palma and Germany and it has been revealed that the all-star cast will be headed by Keanu Reeves and also feature Daniel Brühl, Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, Samantha Morton and Woody Harrelson.

Östlund has been in talks with the Mallorca Film Commission and the airport about shooting and last year he and his production team visited the Air Europa hangar in Palma and inspected an Airbus 330. During the festival in Mallorca he told the Bulletin “The film is set on a long-haul 15-hour flight and some two hours into the flight the whole entertainment system crashes - no in-flight movies, no wifi, no mobile phone connection, nothing. It’s about how the passengers react to a situation like that when we now live in a world in which we are addicted to our phones and social media.

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“I’ve already had talks with the Mallorca Film Commission and the airport about shooting at Palma airport, but most of the film will obviously be shot in the enclosed environment of a plane, and that is something we could also do here in Palma. So, this is what we’re looking into now. But I tend to take three years between films. Triangle of Sadness took five years to make because of the break due to the pandemic, but I am looking at my next film being completed within three to four years and, if possible, shot here in Mallorca or at least part of it,” he said.
“What happens in the end? Everybody dies,” he said.

He also explained to the Bulletin that in preparing the movie, the Swedish filmmaker was inspired by a social psychological study at Virginia University called ‘The Challenge Of The Disengaged Mind.’ The experiment found that participants did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think. To take the experiment one step further, the researchers added a twist: With the touch of a button, the test subjects could, if desired, give themselves a harmless but very painful electric shock. It turned out that a quarter of all women and two-thirds of all men chose to press the button. One man even found being alone with his thoughts so unbearable that, during the 15 minutes, he gave himself 190 electric shocks.

The project will be Östlund’s second English-language film and seventh feature after The Guitar Mongoloid (2004), Involuntary (2008), Play (2011), Force Majeure (2014), The Square (2017) and Triangle of Sadness (2022). The last two of these won the director the Palme d’Or in Cannes, meaning he is one of only a handful of filmmakers to have won the accolade twice.