With his new movie, The Northman, visionary filmmaker Robert Eggers is taking his directing skills to a higher level. The thirty-eight-year-old writer/director’s new film is his first feature film not associated with the beloved independent production company A24. Eggers helped A24 gain prominence with his first two features, The Witch & The Lighthouse.
While The Northman shares similarities with Eggers’ previous work due to its historical setting, the movie has been given a major financial boost. Whereas The Witch & The Lighthouse had budgets of $4 million & $11 million respectively, The Northman’s budget is listed at a whopping $90 million. That’s a whole lot of cheddar.
So why did major companies like Universal & Focus Features trust a former indie filmmaker like Eggers with this much cash? First of all, the scope of The Nortman far exceeds Eggers’ previous films, which are critically lauded. With The Northman out now, fans are wondering if they’ll be able to stream it on Netflix for free.
Robert Eggers goes mainstream
To understand Robert Eggers’ ascent to a first-rate director, we have to look at how he’s influenced the current state of cinema. Influenced by the likes of arthouse filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman & David Lynch, Eggers crafted his first two features to be psychosexual dramas that were lumped loosely into the horror genre.
Both The Witch & The Lighthouse explore ideas about American history, toxic masculinity, religion, sexuality, and the human condition. These broad themes are tied together with archetypal characters, elements of magic, symbolism, and dream logic. With his first two features, Eggers was able to subvert audience expectations as to what an indie horror could be.
Robert Eggers is also partially responsible for discovering Anya Taylor-Joy, who had one of her early leading roles in The Witch. Now, almost seven years later, Anya is a world-famous actress who’s starred in projects such as Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit & Last Night in Soho. Taylor-Joy teamed up with Eggers again for The Northman, in which she portrays Olga.
Anya Taylor-Joy isn’t the only actor in The Northman who’s collaborated with Robert Eggers in the past. Willem Dafoe, who’s listed in The Northman’s cast as Heimir the Fool, starred in 2019’s The Lighthouse alongside Robert Pattinson. While Pattinson had been proving himself for years, many credit The Lighthouse for cementing him as a serious actor.
The Northman gets top-tier talent
Alongside Anya Taylor-Joy & Willem Dafoe, The Northman will feature other A-list actors. Nicole Kidman stars as Queen Gudrún, and Ethan Hawke portrays King Aurvandill. The plot centers around Prince Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård), a Viking who raids Slavic villages. When Amleth was young, his father was viciously murdered by his uncle.
While Amleth lives his life of pillaging, he’s reminded by a seeress (Björk) that he made a vow to kill his uncle, save his mother, and avenge his father’s death. Judging by the trailer, The Northman seems chock full of epic medieval battles & accurate production design. However, because it’s still in theaters, The Northman won’t be on Netflix anytime soon.
Despite this, there are plenty of other options on Netflix for those of you who want to get medieval. One popular series on the platform at the moment is Vikings: Valhalla, which features just as many historical battles & dirty beards. There’s also The Last Kingdom, a series that deals with the Norse, Saxons, and Vikings.
Even though The Northman isn’t on any streaming services at the moment, it’s still worth buying a ticket to go see it on the big screen. Many critics are praising it as the best film of the year so far.
Robert Eggers’ new film The Northman is out & getting great reviews. The first non-A24 film from the acclaimed director stars Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, and Björk. If you’ve seen The Northman already, tell us what you think about it in the comments!