The director of The Witch and The Lighthouse is back, and this time he brought a blood-soaked Viking with him. Focus Features has released a new and final trailer for Robert Eggers’ The Northman, which is set to hit theaters next week and looks to bring the filmmaker a bit more mainstream, albeit on his own terms. Let’s see what the man has cooked up for us this time around, shall we?
As we can see, this is much larger in scale than anything that Eggers has done up to this point in his career. It also looks to be a bit more crowd-pleasing for general audiences, with a sort of Gladiator or The Revenant hook to it, though it still seems heavily stylized and a bit less cut from the cloth of the typical mainstream blockbuster. The other thing to note here is that the trailer leans heavily on praise from critics the movie has received thus far. The film currently boasts an 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes for whatever that may be worth. Whether or not audiences respond as well remains to be seen.
While Eggers had originally envisioned The Northman as a $65 million “big but not too big” type epic, its budget ballooned (in part due to the pandemic) and now comes with a pretty huge $90 million budget. That means it needs to make an awful lot of money and really needs to play like Gladiator to justify the expense. And while Eggers had a big hit with The Witch, it was all relative, as his breakthrough feature directorial debut made $40 million against a $4 million budget. If it works, this could be good news for big, original ideas in the future. Fingers crossed on that front.
There is also a lot of competition in theaters this month, with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 currently out, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore arriving this weekend, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and The Bad Guys opening on the same day as The Northman. Plus, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is right around the corner on May 6.
The film is described as “an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s murder.” It boasts a stacked, A-list cast led by Alexander Skarsgård (Godzilla vs. Kong) in the lead role, with Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), Claes Bang (Dracula), Anya Taylor-Joy (Last Night in Soho), Ethan Hawke (The Black Phone), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse) and, interestingly enough, Björk (Dancer In The Dark), rounding out the ensemble.
The Northman hits theaters on April 22. Check out FANGORIA Volume 2 Issue #15 (hitting newsstands soon) for an interview with director Robert Eggers.