Since charming horror enthusiasts and regular film fans alike with supernatural indie The VVitch (2015) and soon-to-be-released monochromatic maritime nightmare The Lighthouse (2019), ascending director Robert Eggers has just announced his third feature film to palpable online excitement.
The Northman is set to be a viking revenge saga, written by Eggers in collaboration with the Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón. Set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century, Eggers will again try his hand at the period piece with what is sure to contain, if Eggers builds on existing reputation, a characteristically chilling twist and nerve-shredding visuals.
Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård is set to star as a young Nordic prince seeking revenge for his murdered father, with other rumoured cast members being a smorgasbord of acting heavyweights: Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Skarsgård. Rekindling professional relationships with his previous leads Dafoe and Taylor-Joy and teaming up with The VVitch’s producer Lars Knudsen, Eggers is selecting his best contacts in order to deliver a third triumph. Even Iceland’s most infamous cultural icon, Björk, is eyeing a role in the already-stacked lineup, which would bring a sense of ethereal whimsy to complement Eggers’ idiosyncratic style.
With the harsh Icelandic landscape and period setting, film fans can only dream of what stunning landscapes and painstakingly planned-out sets Eggers has up his sleeve for this production. Combining this with complex Icelandic mythology after the slowly delineated narratives of The VVitch and The Lighthouse, it will be interesting to see if The Northman attempts to tackle a more fleshed-out narrative of revenge and battle. Details are still scarce, so fans will have to wait and see what horrors and delights Eggers has in store.
Words by Steph Green