It’s been two years since Robert Eggers’ last utterly singular movie: “The Lighthouse.” Now, come April 2022, Focus Features will release “The Northman,” Eggers’ violent Viking epic starring Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, and Anya Taylor-Joy. Willem Dafoe and Björk (playing a character called Seeress) round out the cast. At last, Focus has revealed the first trailer for the saga. Watch it below before the movie opens in theaters April 22.
Focus’ official description calls the film “an epic revenge thriller that explores how far a Viking prince will go to seek justice for his murdered father.” Principle photography began in Northern Ireland in March 2020 and was halted almost immediately on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed that August.
Eggers cowrote the script with Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón. And beyond his “Witch” star Taylor-Joy, “Witch” actor Ralph Ineson, and “Lighthouse” star Dafoe, he’s reteaming with cinematographer Jarin Blaschke and editor Louise Ford.
Ineson spoke at length in an interview earlier this year about Skarsgard’s physical transformation. “Alexander Skarsgård looks like an absolute beast. [There’s] a scene where he beats this guy in a battle; bends down and rips his throat out with his teeth, screams to the gods and he’s got his shirt off – and you think: ‘My god that’s not a bodybuilder doing a scene, that’s like a proper serious actor!’ He’s made himself look like some kind of monster for the part, the dedication’s incredible. I think it will be a bit of a masterpiece, to be honest.”
Taylor-Joy also waxed rhapsodic about the movie. “Robert and I have now been friends longer than we have been co-workers,” the actress said. “Getting the opportunity to create art together again is amazing. We have both grown so much apart and now we get to grow back together. I am so proud to be a part of this project. Every moment on set I am proud. I think we will be presenting to the world something it genuinely hasn’t seen before. I just feel so humbled I get to be a part of it.”
When asked if “The Northman” will demonstrate the exacting attention to historical detail that Eggers showed off in “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” Taylor-Joy responded, “It’s Robert Eggers! People showed up the first day of set and I was like, ‘You’re going to be cold, you’re never going to be comfortable, but it’s going to be amazing. That’s just the way it is.’”