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We wouldn’t have guessed it years ago, but as of late a vikings genre has seen an uprising. Between the wildly popular Vikings series from the History Channel, to its Netflix spinoff, along with How To Train Your Dragon, The Last Kingdom and the Thor movies, there’s been plenty of successful properties inspired by the Scandinavian seafaring people. And this weekend, Alexander Skarsgård stars as a viking warrior prince in The Northman

The Northman is an A24 film from writer/director Robert Eggers, who previously made critically acclaimed favorites The Witch and The Lighthouse. While Skarsgård spoke about his latest flick, he shared the story behind the film with these words: 

How this idea was born was basically about 10 years ago I started thinking about how I’ve never seen a historically accurate depiction of the Viking age. I’ve never seen a big, epic Viking adventure film based on the old Icelandic sagas that captures the laconic tone that’s really harsh, just like the landscape. It started to percolate in my head about why I’ve never really seen that.

Alexander Skarsgård, who is a producer on The Northman, along with getting seriously ripped to play the lead, told SlashFilm that a decade ago he had aspirations to see the Viking age be depicted in a historically accurate way, but he’d never seen it be accomplished. Skarsgård was born in Sweden, which makes his ancestors perhaps directly aligned with the Vikings. 

Of course, Skarsgård’s father is Stellan Skarsgård, who stars in the Thor movies. Alexander Skarsgård spoke to the difference between The Northman and Marvel’s depictions of Norse mythology: 

I think that the ‘Thor’ movies are wonderful, and they obviously take a lot of creative freedom. They’re very inspired by a lot of the old sagas and have elements of them, but they’ve turned into something else. I think they’re very entertaining. Taika [Waititi] is a dear friend of mine, he did an amazing job on his ‘Thor’ movie. I loved it, thought it was super funny, but again was wondering why there had never been a more realistic or more grounded Viking movie.

The Northman features an incredible cast including Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe and Björk. The movie was born out of Skarsgård’s own wishes to make a vikings film that later turned into a discussion with Eggers, who co-wrote and helmed it. The movie is an action epic that serves as a revenge tale for a viking prince who seeks justice for his father’s murder. 

Thor on the other hand is based on Norse mythology and Marvel comics, making it a lot more shiny than the grimy and relentless world of The Northman. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor will return this summer with Thor: Love and Thunder

The Northman has earned rave reviews from critics overall, with CinemaBlend also giving the film a great 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review. The site’s own Eric Eisenberg called the movie “hypnotizing” and “special” when describing his experience with the film. 

This weekend The Northman opens against other new releases like DreamWorks’ crime comedy The Bad Guys and Nicolas Cage-led comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The vikings flick is expected to open at No. 4 during its opening weekend, per Box Office Pro

Check out our interviews with the cast of The Northman and stay up to date on the upcoming 2022 movie releases coming next on CinemaBlend. 

Source: cinemablend

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