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CANNES (Reuters) - Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac", one of the most hotly anticipated movies of 2013 for its erotic content and all-star cast, will open in theatres on Christmas Day, the producers said on Thursday.
The provocative director, expelled from the Cannes film festival in 2011 for joking that he sympathized with Hitler, cast Charlotte Gainsbourg as the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac of the title, alongside rising Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf.
Uma Thurman and Willem Dafoe also appear in a movie which, if the pre-release buildup is to be believed, could match Von Trier's ultra-violent "Antichrist" for shocking audiences.
"December is a good month. Besides, what's more Christmassy than a film like this?" joked production company Zentropa's CEO Peter Aalbaek Jensen in a statement.
He added that Von Trier, 57, had just begun editing the second part of what will be a double bill, and promised impressive visual effects.
The film will premiere in Copenhagen in early December with a red carpet gala, and reach cinemas on December 25.
There had been intense speculation that the picture would be ready for this year's Cannes, where director Thierry Fremaux told Reuters Von Trier would be welcomed back in the future despite his ignominious exit two years ago.
It was the first such expulsion from the world's top film festival in 64 years, and an apology from the director, once a darling in Cannes and winner of the Palme d'Or award in 2000 for "Dancer in the Dark", proved too late.
Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by Mike Collett-White