The first trailer for The Northman has arrived, and it promises a Viking movie unlike any other. Robert Eggers has become one of the most intriguing filmmakers around thanks to his directorial debut, 2015’s chilling horror The Witch, and his excellent follow-up, 2019’s undefinable horror/thriller The Lighthouse. For his next trick, he’s taking a totally different tack, serving up an epic historical revenge thriller featuring a star-studded ensemble cast.
As the trailer reveals, The Northman stars Alexander Skarsgård as Amleth, a Viking prince who dedicates his life to rescuing his mother, Queen Gudrun (Nicole Kidman), and avenging the death of his father, King Horvendill (Ethan Hawke), at the hands of his treacherous uncle Fjölnir (Claes Bang). While there’s some visual similarities to his previous films, Northman looks to be operating on a much bigger scale than Eggers’ earlier efforts.
Speaking of which, Eggers reunites with two of his former stars for The Northman, as The Lighthouse‘s Willem Dafoe and The Witch‘s Anya Taylor-Joy also feature, with Taylor-Joy serving as the film’s female lead as her character joins Amleth in his quest for vengeance. This is just one of many major upcoming roles for the Queen’s Gambit actress, including Mad Max spinoff Furiosa, dark comedy The Menu and the Super Mario Bros. animated movie.
As well as directing, Eggers also co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón. If you’re getting Hamlet vibes from the trailer, that’s deliberate, as the film is actually drawn from the ancient Scandinavian legend that inspired William Shakespeare to write his seminal play. If that isn’t a recipe for a critical darling and awards season magnet, I don’t know what is. Hopefully Eggers will make it three for three with this one.
The Northman makes landfall in cinemas on April 22, 2022.