Willem Dafoe and Anya Taylor-Joy Star in 'The Northman' Trailer

Period pieces tend to go one of two ways. Either the resulting film is presented in a more traditional, reverent fashion, or — as was the case with 2021’s The Green Knight — it shocks audiences with wildly inventive twists and a more offbeat style. Fans of writer-director Robert Eggers should know by now what to expect. Based on the new trailer, his upcoming movie The Northman looks to fall into the latter camp.

‘The Northman’ is the latest movie by director Robert Eggers

Coming from the world of production design and short films, Eggers finally made his directorial debut with 2015’s The Witch. That film — marketed as “a New-England folktale” — polarized horror fans with its slow-burn pacing and 1600s setting. But the film still served as a launchpad for Anya Taylor-Joy, who has gone on to star in movies such as Split, Glass, Emma, and Last Night in Soho. In addition, she stars on the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

In 2019, Eggers returned with his second film. This one, a dissection into madness called The Lighthouse, stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a pair of lighthouse keepers who come into conflict. Now both Taylor-Joy and Dafoe join an ensemble cast led by Alexander Skarsgård for his third feature. And fans of his past work have been anxiously awaiting to see what The Northman has in store for them.

Alexander Skarsgård leads a stacked cast in the revenge thriller

Judging by this footage, The Northman looks like it will be a violent, visceral journey back to the time of the Vikings. The story follows Amleth (Skarsgârd), a Viking prince who becomes obsessed with getting revenge for his father’s murder. The film features lush visuals, an unrelenting tone, and an appropriately fitting epic feel. In addition to Skarsgârd, Taylor-Joy, Dafoe, and other key cast members make appearances in this thrilling first look.

Ethan Hawke plays Amleth’s father, King Aurvandill, while Nicole Kidman is his mother, Queen Gudrún. Singer Björk plays the Seeress in his first movie role in more than 15 years. And Claes Bang — who played the title role in the BBC/Netflix series Dracula in 2020 — is the man responsible to Aurvandill’s death, none other than his own brother. With a reported runtime of 140 minutes, The Northman seems to be ready to tear its way into theaters.

‘The Northman’ hit theaters everywhere on April 22, 2022

At the moment, The Northman is scheduled to release on April 22, 2022. That same weekend, The Nicolas Cage-led action-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and animated adventure The Bad Guys are coming out too. And there’s something about The Northman that certainly begs to be seen on the big screen.

While fans might argue over which genre best describes Eggers’ previous films, The Northman looks like it will test the boundaries of its own storytelling. Will the film satisfy fans or the director’s work or leave them heading south for more material to warm to? The world will find out when The Northman finally arrives in theaters.

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