Kormakur Talks His Resurrected Viking Film

With “Everest” about to hit cinemas, Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur has been discussing his next Hollywood projects that are currently in development – one described as an “oil spill movie” and the other one with a Viking theme.

The latter has been around for a while and was ready to go many years ago until a rival project from Mel Gibson led to its scrapping – a Gibson project that also ultimately fell apart. Speaking with Empire, he says:

“The Viking project is another big one, [and] we’re working on both scripts. I had this project ten years ago, when Lord Of The Rings and all these things were coming out.

I made this Viking story and I got the biggest support from the Iceland Film Fund, but I realised I couldn’t really create the world I wanted. I could only make a small version of it.

[Mel Gibson’s version] really f–ked me up, you know? Because I was no Mel Gibson, put it that way. My pitch was, in a way, to make a modern version of a Mel Gibson film. Authentic, big world, masculine.”

Kormakur says the plan is to shoot the film in English and to dissuade people of mistaken beliefs about the famous race:

“There’s no such thing [as the Viking language]. You can do it in old Icelandic or old Norwegian, but if you try to have American actors speaking old Icelandic, it’s going to sound really, really weird.

My intention is to create a world you haven’t seen. If you go into the British Museum, you’ll see [Vikings] were not drunk rapists. They were actually really good at creating jewellery… the best boats of the era. I know that Hollywood doesn’t go to a place like that unless it’s forced, but it’s fascinating to create that world.”

Kormakur’s “Everest” is slated to open September 18th.