If you’ve seen The Witch and The Lighthouse you’ll know Robert Eggers is an astounding filmmaking talent – a director whose work always seems to have been dug up from the period in which its set, with dirt under its fingernails and brine soaked into the celluloid. And if his third feature, The Northman, seems to take place on a much bigger scale than his previous two films, it looks no less textured, no less stunningly crafted, no less, well, fantastic. Because The Northman really does look fantastic – an all-out, axe-swinging Viking revenge movie with an astonishing cast, spine-tingling epic shots, and some action beats sure to elicit audible reactions. Take a look here:
If that didn’t just shoot up near the top of your must-see list for next year, we’d be astonished. As the trailer shows, this one has Alexander Skarsgard (perfectly cast as a gigantic Viking warrior) playing Amleth, the son of a king (Ethan Hawke) shot down in a hail of arrows and beheaded by Claes Bang’s marauding Fjölnir. As an adult, Amleth seeks revenge on his father’s killer and the invaders who stole his homeland, with the help of Anya Taylor-Joy’s as-yet-unnamed character. All that, plus we get Nicole Kidman as Amleth’s mother, Willem Dafoe wearing a spooky bald cap (in a welcome Lighthouse reunion), and Björk in medieval Viking witch Björk mode (aka regular Björk). There’s plenty of stunning cinematography too, as captured by Eggers’ regular lenser Jarin Blaschke.
The Northman is co-written by Eggers along with Icelandic poet Sjón (recently co-writer of the Noomi Rapace-starring Lamb). And even if it looks like a very different take on all things Norse than the Thor movies, it has to be said: this one looks like it’ll still Ragna-rock. Hunt down The Northman in UK cinemas on 22 April 2022.