Robert Eggers has emerged as one of the most original directorial talents of our time, thanks to acclaimed projects such as The Witch and The Lighthouse. While The Witch established Eggers as a creative force to be reckoned with, the strangely beautiful atmospheric horror of The Lighthouse cemented Eggers’ place in the current landscape of cinema.
Eggers is already the subject of much debate since he has directed one of the most anticipated projects of 2022. Titled The Northman, this is going to be a historical epic that will be set in Iceland at the turn of the tenth century and will be based on the medieval Scandinavian legend of Amleth – the source of inspiration for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Eggers has cast Alexander Skarsgård as the central figure of the film, alongside other icons such as Ethan Hawke, Nicole Kidman as well as his previous collaborators Willem Dafoe and Anya Taylor-Joy. There is a lot of visceral violence in this revenge thriller, with Skarsgård recently opening up about one such scene in an interview.
The actor explained: “The choreography was so difficult, with all these elements, 50 people fighting simultaneously, the extras and the horses… making it look perfect was a real undertaking. That climax, where I rip a guy’s throat out and howl at the moon… it was primal. I just let it all out. I was exhausted, and I think you see it in the shot. I was a wreck. Truly a wreck.”
Skarsgård also revealed that the production had changed him as an actor as well as a person: “A lot of stuff that I might have said yes to a couple of years ago, I’m just not that keen on doing anymore. I feel a bit lost. I don’t know where to go from here. This experience… it definitely changed me. I think it changed most people who were on that mountaintop.”
Watch the new trailer for The Northman below.