Robert Eggers Describing The Northman as Massive Production
The Lighthouse blew audiences away last year with its scope and production scale and yet writer/director Robert Eggers is looking to outdo himself on his next project, the viking revenge story The Northman, which he has revealed in a recent interview is becoming his largest production yet. (Via IndieWire)
In an interview with Film Independent Coffee Talk, Egger revealed that he and his crew were one week away from beginning production on his third effort behind the camera when it was shut down indefinitely over health concerns, stating that his ensemble cast and crew were pretty much all assembled in Belfast, Ireland.
“There’s a very small crew that is continuing to work on things,” Eggers said. “Armor makers are working on armor for the characters. Prosthetics are being made. I’m doing my work with the DP [Jarin Blaschke] and the storyboard artist. There are things that need to be happening. Our location manager is constantly checking in on the locations, some of which are just now semi-built sets.”
The 36-year-old writer/director revealed that the latest film is such a massive production that it has required he change his preparation process, in which he usually creates a “look book” mapping out his creative vision by himself, but has now taken to bringing in key collaborators to help find the look of the film, calling it the true “challenge” of the movie.
“There’s many locations in the film, so we were constantly going on scouts to find places or reassess places that we have found and we’re building sets there,” Eggers said. “We’re designing all these worlds, building these villages, we’re making thousands of costumes and props, training the horses the things they’ll need to do, designing the shots of the films. There’s a lot more storyboarding. Generally I only storyboard the scenes that have visual effects or animals and stunts, things where all the departments need to be on the same page for it to work out. But this movie there is rarely a scene that isn’t on a boat or doesn’t have a lot of extras. We’re storyboarding most of the film, which is taking a lot of time and we’re continuing to do that now on this hiatus.”
Set up at New Regency, Eggers has put together an all-star ensemble for the film including Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgård, and Bill Skarsgård, plus previous collaborators Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse) and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch). Eggers will direct from a script he co-wrote with Icelandic novelist Sjón.
Co-written by Robert Eggers and Max Eggers, The Lighthouse was shot on 35mm black-and-white stock using equipment from the 1920’s and ’40s. Set in 1890 Nova Scotia, the film followed the story of an aging lighthouse keeper named Thomas Wake (Dafoe) who teams with a younger man named Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) on a remote and mysterious New England island. The Lighthouse opened in theaters on October 18 to rave reviews from critics and was a modest commercial success, grossing over $18 million on a $4 million budget, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography.
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