One of HE’s most anticipated 2021 films is Robert EggersThe Northman (Focus Features). Several sites have described it as a 10th Century Viking revenge saga. Wikipedia calls it “a historical thriller.”

But it doesn’t seem to be any kind of ultra-violent Viking thing with axes and long ships and the worshipping of Odin. Because the basic bones of the script (cowritten by Eggers and Sjon) are based upon the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, which inspired William Shakespeare‘s Hamlet.

Alexander Skarsgård plays Amleth, and Nicole Kidman (to whom Skarsgard’s rich asshole character was turbulently married in Big Little Lies) plays his mother, Queen Gudrun. Anya Taylor Joy‘s character is unnamed, but she’s probably playing Ophelia. Ethan Hawke is the King, Claes Bang is Feng (a character straight out of Amleth), Willem Dafoe as Heimir the Fool, Bjork is the Slav Witch, etc.

Last February Northman dp Jarin Blaschke (who also shot The Lighthouse and The Witch) told JoBlo’s Mike Sprague that the film will be “dark and unusually violent,” and that it will be “bigger than the others.”

In a recent WTF interview with Marc Maron, Kidman discussed her Queen Gudrun role. “I just worked with Ethan [Hawke],” she said. “He played my king. And now I’m crazy about Ethan. He was always a great actor but just personally, what a great guy. And so much knowledge! Such an artist, such an actor. He’s a Renaissance man.”

I don’t like “crazy” being used to express great love or intoxication or enthusiasm. I know it’s commonly used but I don’t like it. Whenever I hear someone say “I’m crazy about that song” or “I’m crazy about my new girlfriend,” I always raise an eyebrow and take a step back.