The Northman Director Robert Eggers on the Influences Behind Viking Epic – The Hollywood Reporter

For writer-director Robert Eggers, Focus Features’ The Northman It all began when the film director and his wife took a vacation. Iceland. “It was the first time I became interested in old Norse culture,” Recalls Eggers. It That same trip was also my own. Eggers met singer-songwriter Björk (who has a small role in The Northman As the mystery Seeress). She She introduced the director as a frequent collaborator to her. Sjón, the Icelandic Screenwriter, poet, and lyricist, who eventually co-wrote the historic epic with Eggers. “The Northman was birthed on that trip,” He continues.

Starring Alexander Skarsgård, the film is a retelling of the Scandinavian Legend of Amleth (which was also inspirational William Shakespeare’s Hamlet). After Young witnesses the murder of his father at the hands his uncle and the kidnapping of the mother at his aunt’s house. Amleth He flees from his home and vows revenge on his father. Many The adult was finally found years later. AmlethNow, a Viking warrior, embarks on his life’s mission to exact revenge on his uncle and save his mother.

The Northman Naturally, this requires a certain level of historical accuracy. “There were people in the living history and experimental archeology communities who worked on the film,” ” Eggers. “People who, basically, become Vikings on the weekends.” Those Historical reenactors were impressed with the work, even though they brought their expertise. “lived-in” Re-creations Norse These villages are Viking halls.

Also Historical information was consulted European martial arts experts, for the film’s complex battle sequences and climactic duel at the crater of HeklaA volcano is known as “the gateway to hell” The Middle Ages. Notes Eggers, “We had two really great Viking swordsmen come up with a fighting technique that you haven’t seen in a film before.”

ICELAND’S SKÓGAFOSS WATERFALL

Iceland’s Skógafoss Waterfall

Courtesy This is Subject

Eggers’ wife snapped this pic of the director during a 2016 vacation. It It was that trip that I was there that Eggers Invested in Norse culture, fInding inspiration in the country’s evocative landscape and its history during a visit to the Saga Museum in Reykjavik.

ICELAND’S WILD HORSES

Iceland’s Wild Horses: Eggers snapped this photo of a team of horses when visiting Iceland. “Icelandic horses are so beautiful,” says the director, who adds: “But there’s also the irony that they’re very small.” The diminutive animals’ stature can be spotted onscreen in contrast with actor Alexander Skarsgård’s bulky 6-foot-4 frame. That realism was vital for Eggers. He says, “It was important to me to have Alexander’s feet kind of dragging the ground — this massive guy on a small horse.”

Iceland’s Wild Horses

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Eggers This photo was taken by me while visiting the Horse Park. Iceland. “Icelandic horses are so beautiful,” Director adds: “But there’s also the irony that they’re very small.” The diminutive animals’ stature can be spotted onscreen in contrast with actor Alexander Skarsgård’s bulky 6-foot-4 frame. That Realism was essential for Eggers. He says, “It was important to me to have Alexander’s feet kind of dragging the ground — this massive guy on a small horse.”

CONAN THE BARBARIAN

Conan The Barbarian: “There are a few accidental nods to Conan,” says Eggers, who admits that he had a poster for the Arnold Schwarzenegger film in his childhood bedroom. But there were tropes that he wanted to avoid in The Northman, such as glorified violence, machismo and female objectification. “It was an important film for me as a kid, for sure,” he adds of its lasting impact on his own work. “It was hard to escape.”

Conan The Barbarian

Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

“There are a few accidental nods to Conan,” ” EggersHe admitted that he had a poster made for the event. Arnold Schwarzenegger Film taken in his childhood bedroom. But He wanted to avoid certain tropes. The NorthmanThis includes glorified violence and machismo as well as female objectification. “It was an important film for me as a kid, for sure,” He adds to its lasting impact on himself. “It was hard to escape.”

VIKING HISTORY-BOOKS

Viking History Books: These three nonfiction titles were major resources for Eggers when he was researching old Norse culture. He also notes that the authors of the books were advisers on the film and were “excited to see what they’ve been imagining their whole lives come to life.”

Viking History Books

Courtesy This is Subject (3)

These Three nonfiction titles were important resources. Eggers When he was doing research old Norse culture. He It is also noted that the book authors were advisors to the film, and were “excited to see what they’ve been imagining their whole lives come to life.”

This This story was first published in a December Stand-alone issue The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To Get the magazine Click here to subscribe.

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