Robert Eggers has established himself as one of the best filmmakers working today, with his horror features The Witch and The Lighthouse receiving high critical acclaim. Eggers’ latest film, The Northman, is sure to raise Eggers’ stock even higher, with the historical epic seeing the New Hampshire filmmaker delivering a large budget spectacle of brutal violence rarely seen in theaters.
Loosely based on the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, The Northman stars Alexander Skarsgård as a Viking warrior prince who undergoes a bloody quest for revenge against the men who killed his father. Directed and written by Eggers, The Northman is produced by Eggers, Mark Huffam, Lars Knudsen, Arnon Milchan, and Skarsgård, who leads a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Willem Dafoe. The Northman is Robert Eggers’ third feature film after The Witch and The Lighthouse. Eggers came up with the idea for The Northman after a meeting with his leading man Alexander Skarsgård, who spoke about his wish to star in a Viking movie. Eggers wrote the screenplay for The Northman with Sjon, an Icelandic poet, novelist, and lyricist, who previously co-wrote the folk horror movie, Lamb. Here’s how you can watch this dark revenge drama.
Watch the Official Trailer of The Northman
The trailer for The Northman was released on December 21, 2021, and has been viewed over 21 million times on YouTube. Check it out in the player above.
Is The Northman in Movie Theaters?
The Northman was released in theaters on April 22, 2022, through Focus Features and is still showing in some select locales. The film was originally scheduled for release on April 8, 2022.
Indeed! As of Friday, June 3, The Northman is streaming on Peacock. You can access it here. If, however, you’re not subscribed to Universal’s streaming service, the film is also available for rental or purchase on both Apple TV+ and Amazon.
Who Are in the Cast of The Northman?
Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth, a Viking warrior prince who returns to his homeland with a quest for bloody revenge against his uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang), who killed Amleth’s father King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke). Skarsgård, a native of Sweden, had wanted to do a Viking movie for a decade before a meeting with Eggers in 2019 led to them making The Northman. To achieve the Viking berserker body Skarsgård would employ in his portrayal of Amleth, he trained for five months before shooting to add additional muscle to his already impressive frame.
Skarsgård is a Swedish actor who first became known to American audiences in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Skarsgård’s fame would rise with his portrayal as 1,000-year-old Nordic vampire Eric Northwood in the HBO series True Blood. Skarsgård would win several awards, including the Golden Globe and Emmy, for his portrayal of an abusive husband in Big Little Lies. Skarsgård would go on to make his mark in the film market in independent releases Melancholia and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, as well as blockbuster releases The Legend of Tarzan and Godzilla vs. Kong.
Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Olga of the Birch Forest, a sorceress who helps Amleth in his quest for revenge. Taylor-Joy is a British actress who made her film debut in The Witch, which was also directed by Eggers. Taylor-Joy would also star in Split and Glass while achieving awards success for her role as fictional chess prodigy Beth Harmon in the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit.
Nicole Kidman stars as Queen Gudrun, the mother of Amleth and wife to slain King Aurvandil. Kidman is an award-winning actor from Australia who won the Oscar for her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours, and Golden Globe and Emmy Awards as an actress and producer on the HBO TV series Big Little Lies. Other notable film roles include Moulin Rogue, Cold Mountain, and Being the Ricardos.
Claes Bang stars as Fjolnir the Brotherless, the uncle of Amleth upon whom he has sworn bloody revenge for slaying his father King Aurvandill. Bang is a Danish actor and musician who is best known for his roles in the 2017 Palme d’Or winning film The Square, and the BBC/Netflix series Dracula. Bang is also part of the music group This is Not America.
Ethan Hawke stars as King Aurvandill War-Raven, the slain father of Amleth and husband to Queen Gurdin. Hawke is an Oscar and Tony award-nominated actor, known for his roles in Training Day, Boyhood, and the Before trilogy of films directed by Richard Linklater. Hawke has also appeared on stage, winning acclaim for his performances in Coast of Utopia and True West.
Willem Dafoe stars as Helmir the Fool, a court jester for King Aurvandill who also serves as a high priest. Dafoe previously worked with Eggers on The Lighthouse. An Oscar-nominated actor known for his roles in Platoon and At Eternity’s Gate, Dafoe has created a prolific career in independent productions such as Wild at Heart and Light Sleeper, as well as big-budget productions such as Spider-Man and Aquaman.
What Is The Northman About and What Is the Legend of Amleth?
The Northman stars Skarsgård as Prince Amleth, who as a young boy witnessed the murder of his father King Aurvandill War-Raven (Hawke) at the hands of his treacherous uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang), who seizes his brother’s kingdom and Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman). Escaping from his uncle’s clutches with a vow to avenge his father’s death, Amleth returns with a quest for bloody vengeance.
Amleth is a figure in Scandinavian legend. The medieval figure is attributed to the writing of Saxo Grammaticus, a Danish historian, theologian, and author who wrote about Amleth in the third and fourth books of his Gesta Danorum series released during the 13th century. The character of Amleth is the direct inspiration for William Shakespeare’s drama The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.