the northman

The Witch and The Lighthouse director Robert Eggers is already gearing up for his next project. Eggers will helm The Northman, a Viking drama that will star Alexander Skarsgard, with Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Skarsgard, and Willem Dafoe all in talks to join the cast. The movie is described as a “grounded” revenge story, which means it probably won’t have the supernatural elements prevalent in Eggers’ first two films – but will still end up being disturbing, since that seems to be what Eggers gravitates towards.

THR says Robert Eggers and Alexander Skarsgard are teaming for The Northman, a project that Skarsgard personally approached Eggers about. If all goes according to plan, Skarsgard’s brother Bill Skarsgard will also appear in the film, along with Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, who worked with Eggers on The Witch, and Willem Dafoe, who will soon be seen in Eggers’ The Lighthouse.

The Northman  is described as “a grounded story set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century that centers on a Nordic prince who seeks revenge for the death of his father.” Skarsgard approached Eggers with the idea, and will also produce the film. Eggers will write the script with Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón. Skarsgard would play the prince while Kidman would play his mother – which is a bit weird, since Skarsgard previously played Kidman’s husband on Big Little Lies.

The plot – a prince seeking revenge for his father’s death – sure sounds a lot like Hamlet, but I’m guessing there’s a lot more to the project that we don’t know yet. Still, a Hamlet-inspired Viking story from the director of The Witch and The Lighthouse sounds exactly like the type of movie I would watch over and over again, so I’m not complaining. While describing the film as “grounded” certainly suggests it won’t feature the supernatural elements present in both The Witch and The Lighthouse, I find it hard to believe Eggers would make a “normal” drama – I’m expecting things to still get plenty weird here, just without the aid of otherworldly forces. This potential cast certainly makes things all the more enticing.

With his first two films, Eggers has quickly solidified himself as a filmmaker to pay attention to. He started his career as a production designer, and as a result, both of his feature films are highly detailed and meticulously stylized, to the point where they successfully suck you back into their respective eras – the 1600s for The Witch, and the 1800s for The Lighthouse.

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