Universal is staying in business with 2 Guns and Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormákur (who’s currently in post-production on the big-budgeted survival pic Everest for the studio), as they’ve signed him to direct a historical epic titled Vikingr.
In addition to directing, Kormákur wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Ólafur Egill Egilsson. According to the official studio release, Vikingr “is based on the classic tales deriving from the legendary Icelandic Sagas, which document larger-than-life heroes, adventures and battles of early Nordic settlers, as well as daily life in the Viking age. Vikingr offers a fresh look at Viking culture that is both intimate and epic.”
The project is reportedly close to its director’s heart, none-too-surprising given that he is an Icelandic native. On paper, Vikingr seems like a slightly risky venture for Universal, but Kormákur has delivered two hits in a row for the studio, so execs likely feel comfortable putting their faith in what is clearly a passion project for the director.
Additionally, Kormákur rose to prominence with The Deep, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Foreign Language Film Oscar, so Universal may be eying Vikingr as both a crowd-pleasing epic and a potential awards contender.
It’s early days yet for the project, but we’ll keep you posted as more on Vikingr emerges. Whether it ends up being made may also depend on the success of Everest, which bows next September after years in the works. Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal star in that tentpole.