With just two movies as a director under his belt, filmmaker Robert Eggers has already created two of the most unique horror movies of the past ten years, delivering the period folk horror The Witch and the black-and-white terror The Lighthouse. Based on those two though, he doesn't like to give himself an easy time on set, and his next film will up the ante moreso than even he expected. Speaking in a new interview, Eggers opened up about the pre-production for his new film The Northman, a viking revenge film with a major ensemble cast, which has presented him with some of the biggest challenges of his career before even shooting a frame.
"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," Eggers told Collider. "That's been a challenge with the new movie...There's many locations in the film, so we were constantly going on scouts to find places or reassess places that we have found and we're building sets there. 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 of the films. There's a lot more storyboarding. Generally I only storyboard the scenes that have visual effects or animals and stunts, things where all the departments need to be on the same page for it to work out. But this movie there is rarely a scene that isn't on a boat or doesn't have a lot of extras. We're storyboarding most of the film, which is taking a lot of time."
Unlike Eggers previous movies, which have had very minimal characters and actors appear, The Northman will feature an ensemble on screen, and an A-List one to boot. Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman will star in the film along with Alexander Skarsgård, and Bill Skarsgård. Eggers will reunite with his The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy and one of his The Lighthouse stars, Willem Dafoe. Lars Knudsen, who collaborated with Eggers on The Witch, will produce the film having recently worked on Ari Aster's Hereditary and Midsommar.
Eggers is co-writing the film, having penned the script with Icelandic poet and novelist, Sjón. The film is described as a "Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century." Considering everything Eggers has said about the movie and that brief synopsis, let your imagination truly run wild with what the final product will be like.
(Cover photo: Chris Reardon / A24 Pictures)