Upcoming Robert Eggers film expected to be a hit
Robert Eggers currently has two feature films to his name which many would deem as two of the finest horror films of the decade.
The horror genre seems to be always evolving. There are usually a few prominent directors that help guide horror cinema.
George Romero popularized the contemporary zombie movie single-handedly, John Carpenter has made several classics and Wes Craven revitalized the dying genre in the mid-nineties with Scream (1996).
While it may be bold of me to say, I believe that Robert Eggers will be that director for this generation.
Surprisingly, he seems to be stepping away from horror in his upcoming film The Northman scheduled to release in April 2022. What can we expect from this upcoming project that seems to be a departure from his prior work?
Let’s talk about that prior work. One unifying aspect that Eggers seems to be carrying over to The Northman is setting his stories in a very specific time and place.
In his first film, The Witch (2015), he places the story in 17th century New England. His follow-up, The Lighthouse (2019), was set on a small island in the late 1800s. Notice that both of these choices were not made randomly. Both settings service the plot, amplify tension and highlight the character’s isolation.
Setting horror films in these eras was a great way to stay away from plot holes lesser films have to confront.
There are no cell phones to call for help with, no easy modes of transportation and general ignorance from the characters can just as easily be viewed as them being a product of their time.
Therefore, I find it interesting that Eggers is stepping back from horror and isolation while still entrenching his film in a historical setting. The Northman is set to take place during the time of the Vikings, as a Viking prince pursues vengeance for his murdered father.
While a historical epic is a far cry from horror, I think this is a good project for Eggers. One thing I’m excited to see is how he chooses to play with language in the film.
In The Lighthouse, Eggers vigorously studied the phraseology of New England sailors to provide authenticity to the dialogue. I am glad to hear he has been working on the film with Sjón, a famous Icelandic poet and novelist.
What many are eager for is to see how Eggers intends to allocate his budget. The Northman’s budget is $110 million, which is nearly 10 times the budget of The Lighthouse and 27 times the budget he had for The Witch.
Obviously, this budget is better suited for the epic Eggers and the studio have in mind, but if Eggers could make masterpieces with such a small price tag, the mind is overwhelmed with ideas of what he can accomplish with the pot of gold he’s been given.
There are already some big actors attached to the project; Alexander Skarsgård is set to star alongside his brother Bill (who some may know better as Pennywise from It), as well as Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe.
With this anticipation mounting and the film currently in the process of being edited, April can’t come soon enough!