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Revealed: what Viking revenge thriller filmed here will look like

Dramatic trailer released for new blockbuster epic The Northman

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Action-packed: Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic The Northman

Action-packed: Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

Scenes from The Northman

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Action-packed: Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth in director Robert Eggers’ Viking epic The Northman

This is the first glimpse of new blockbuster epic The Northman.

Shot in Northern Ireland, the Viking revenge film is set at the turn of the 10th century in Iceland and stars brothers Alexander and Bill Skarsgård, Emma actress Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman and Ethan Hawke.

A synopsis for the film describes it as “an epic revenge thriller that explores how far a Viking prince will go to seek justice for his murdered father”.

Development on the thriller was announced in late 2019, with filming due to start in March 2020.

The pandemic, however, delayed production until August, with the filming officially wrapping in December.

It is directed and co-written by Robert Eggers, who came into the spotlight with the 2015 supernatural tale The Witch and later The Lighthouse.

While Eggers’ previous efforts are much more intimate affairs, all the signs suggest The Northman is on a much grander scale.

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The Lighthouse star Willem Dafoe also returns for a role in The Northman, which is co-written by the Icelandic novelist and poet Sjón. The cast is rounded off by an appearance from iconic Icelandic singer Björk.

The atmospheric trailer features several of the film’s stars, with a voiceover from Alexander Skarsgård’s character vowing to avenge his murdered father (Hawke), whom we see executed in the footage. Glimpses of Dafoe are also seen, as well as Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie, who also appeared in The Witch.

Shots of villages, forests and eye-catching scenery may go unnoticed to other viewers, however they are unmistakably Northern Ireland. Locations here used in the film include Torr Head in Ballycastle and the Antrim Hills.

Director Eggers said in a recent interview: “The scale is so huge and there are so many more locations and things that I couldn’t do everything or know every prop myself.

“That’s been a challenge with the new movie.

“We’re designing all these worlds, building these villages, we’re making thousands of costumes and props, training the horses the things they’ll need to do, designing the shots for the film. But this movie there is rarely a scene that isn’t on a boat or doesn’t have a lot of extras.”

Eggers also spoke about the story’s origins.

“It’s basically the story of Hamlet or The Lion King, which was originally an old Norse story where the Hamlet character was called Amleth,” he said

“We’ve told it in our own way. It is a Viking saga with magic and swords and mysticism and all the stuff that you’d want from that.”

Australian star Nicole Kidman, who plays Queen Gudrun in the movie, spoke earlier this year about falling in love with Belfast when she was filming here.

“I was shooting in Belfast, I love Belfast now,” she told Mark Maron’s WTF podcast.

“The weirdest thing is I’m in Belfast and I’m like... ‘maybe we should move here’, I’m that sort of person. I’m in Belfast going ‘this place is really special’. There’s something about it, I was just drawn.

“I have Irish blood, my family came over to Australia in 1839 on the SS Susan as free settlers.”

The crew filmed here during the pandemic and Kidman revealed that she was originally “terrified” to come to Northern Ireland due to the health crisis.

The Northman comes to cinemas on April 8, 2022.


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