I think now that some time has passed it is fair to say Robert Eggers somehow changed horror movies with his debut feature film The Witch (2015). Because maybe Rob Zombie opened the door of a comeback of the witches subject and the occult dealt in a more mature way in movies with his masterpiece The Lords of Salem (2012), but it was Eggers and his “New-England Folktale” the film that banged the table and brought paganism and witchcraft to a new level of perception far from the childish teens waking spirits with their Ouija boards and wealthy families moving into haunted houses. But to consecrate a filmmaker with his first film is a little bit risky, so Robert Eggers came back last year with another pure jewel of filmmaking, The Lighthouse (2019), a movie of pure horror, where the sound, the images, the location, the ambient, all the elements the director had in his hands form a perfect and merciless collage to knock out the audience.
Robert Eggers is currently working on his next movie, and it is entitled The Northman, and it is needless to say that expectations are very high. There not much we know about the film, only that it is a historical drama set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century and surrounding a group of Vikings pursuing revenge.
The screenplay for The Northman has been written by the director Robert Eggers together with Sjón Sigurdsson, an Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist whose more notable work in movies was writing the lyrics for Lars Von Trier‘s gothic musical Dancer in the Dark (2000). In addition to that, he has also been the writer of the horror movie Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009). Using his first name Sjón as the stage name, he has also been a frequent collaborator of popular singer and musician Björk, from the early times with her band Sugarcubes to her most recent albums. In fact, Björk has been recently announced to have joined the cast for The Northman as The Slav Witch.
Because, for his third film, Robert Eggers has managed to get together a great list of performers, giving the project some kind of epic status. Besides Björk and her supporting role, The Northman is starred by Anya Taylor-Joy, who debuted in the movie industry as the main character of The Witch (2015), and Willem Dafoe, who was also in The Lighthouse (2019). Also, real-life siblings Bill Skarsgård (the already immortal Pennywise in It (2017) and its sequel), and Alexander Skarsgård (known for Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) and TV series True Blood (2008–2014) where he played the role of Eric Northman) conform the main cast.
Other outstanding additions to the cast for The Northman are Nicole Kidman (not very prolific in horror movies but she will always be remembered for –again– Lars Von Trier’s Dogville (2003)), Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie (who played Anya Taylor-Joy’s parents in The Witch (2015)), Claes Bang (better known for The Square (2017), The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018), and playing the title character in the awful Netflix Dracula (2020) mini-series), Olwen Fouéré (Mother Marlene in Mandy (2018)), Ian Gerard Whyte (Vikings (2013– ) TV series), Murray McArthur (Dim Dalba in Game of Thrones (2015-2016) TV series), and the very young and debutant Rebecca Ineson. A little big happy family.
Robert Eggers has not only surrounded himself by a cast of familiar faces; Jarin Blaschke, the cinematographer in his previous two movies and nominated for an Academy Award in that category for The Lighthouse (2019), is again director of photography. Filming for The Northman began on March 2, 2020, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. On March 16, production on the film was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has resumed at the beginning of August 2020.
Add this movie to your watchlist because this is going to be epic.
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