‘The Northman’ director admits there’s more CGI than he’d like in the film

The Northman
Image via Regency Enterprises

Writer/Director Robert Eggers opened up to Indie Wire about how the Covid 19 pandemic impacted the production of his highly anticipated upcoming film The Northman, creating a need for more CGI than he as an artist would have liked.

Eggers mused that this was a difficult lesson for him to accept.

“It was hard. Unfortunately, because of COVID, there was more CG than I would’ve wanted because we were only allowed to go to Iceland after we wrapped principal photography. A decent amount of principle was done in Iceland. That meant that we had to plonk in Icelandic backgrounds sometimes in a way that it’s not a sin to do — people do it all the time — but it’s not really how I like to make films. I’m not happy about it. But what could I do? It was COVID. Sorry. COVID forced a lot of shit we didn’t want.”

Eggers goes on to say that using CGI was not a completely bad experience. He also admits it is a necessary evil in modern filmmaking.

“It was an enjoyable tool to work with. Also, look, the bell-casting sequence in ‘Andri Rublev’ cannot happen again. With unions and the cost of labor and modern health and safety, if you want to make a modern movie on a large scale, you have to embrace CG.”

The Northman Trailer

The Northman is an epic historical drama that tells the Icelandic legend of Amleth, an eventual source for Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet. It is a story of betrayal and revenge. When Prince Amleth, played by Alexander Skarsgård, witnesses his father, King Aurvandill War-Raven’s murder at the hand of his uncle Fjölnir he vows to one day return and avenge him. 

Eggers went to extraordinary lengths to make this film as historically accurate as possible. Production began in March of 2020 but was shut down due to the pandemic and picked up at the end of that year. This film is set to be released in theaters on April 21.